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ILLEGITIMACY 



AND THE 



INFLUENCE OF SEASONS UPON CONDUCT 




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ILLEGITIMACY 

AND THB 

INFLUENCE OF SEASONS UPON CONDUCT 

TWO STUDIES IN DEMOQRAPHY 



ALBERT LEFFINGWELL, M.D. 



With Maps and Diagrams 



HonUon 
SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO. 

HEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 



i 



' ( 



i 






? PREFACE 





t 



I 

V 



The present volume contains the first treatise in the 
English language, upon the subject of Illegitimacy. 
On the Continent this phase of social phenomena has 
attracted considerable attention ; but investigations 
have been chiefly confined to countries possessing 
comparatively little interest for the English reader. 

The following pages are devoted largely to a con- 
sideration of illegitimate births in the different sections 
of the British Isles. 

The second essay is an attempt to present to the 
reader certain phenomena of periodicity in human 
conduct and mental disease, which, although for many 
years familiar to students, are still comparatively 
unknown to the general public. To what extent 
the hypothesis advanced accounts for all the facts 
observed, each student must judge for himself. At 
all events it is believed that the statistics herein for 
the first time grouped together will be of permanent 
interest. 

The writer has aimed to present some statistics of 
human conduct, now buried in official reports, in such 
a way as not only to be easily intelligible but also 
interesting. He believes it a mistake to imagine that 
facts must necessarily be dull, or figures dry. No 
romance evolved from the imagination of the novelist 
can ever compare with the tragedies of real life. 
What we wish to know is where to find the truth, and 
how to interpret it 

To what extent, then, the reader may ask, can 
confidence be placed in the accuracy of the statistical 



vi PREFACE, 



facts herewith presented ? How may they be verified ? 
What are the sources from which they have been de- 
rived? Do they represent original investigation or 
have they been copied from other works ? 

Each tabular statement in this volume relating to 
Great Britain is the result of personal research and 
reference to the original official sources of information, 
— excepting only in one or two cases where the con- 
trary is stated. The annual rates of Illegitimacy, for 
instance, in different sections of the country are derived 
from the reports of the Registrar-General. The 
authority for all other statistical averages is usually 
given in the text. An opportunity for personal veri- 
fication of diagrams and tables is largely afforded by 
the detailed statements contained in the Appendix. 

To insure the highest degree of accuracy, every 
tabular statement presents the statistics of several 
successive years. It is conceivable for instance, that 
one might mistake in calculating the illegitimacy of 
Scotland as about three times that of Ireland, — taking 
a single year as a basis. It is infinitely improbable 
that precisely the same error should be repeated in a 
dozen calculations, over a dozen years. While the 
author believes that even slight inaccuracies will 
not be found in the transcription of the figures herein 
contained, he is certain that no error sufficient to 
invalidate conclusions can possibly have occurred. 

To Mr. F. Finch, of the General Register Office, 
Somerset House, the author is indebted for valuable 
assistance. 

A. L. 



4, Regent Street^ 
Oxford, 




CONTENTS. 



-^ 



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»» 



» 



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99 



V 



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Illegitimacy : — 
*^ Prevalence in Great Britain and Ireland since 1879 
Probable Rate in England, 1 890-1900 
Differences in England, Scotland, ahd Ireland . 
"^ Relation to Unmarried and Nubile Womanhood 

""^ Inquiry as to Causes 

"^ Influence of Poverty 

Country and Town Life . 

Education 

Religion 

Legislation and Restraints to Marriage 

Heredity 

Age of Illegitimate Mothers . . , • 
Social Condition of Illegitimate Mothers^ . • 

--A C oUlJtialment of Births. 1 . . . , 

^ M^tality ot luegUimate Infancy . . , 

^ Influence" upon the !• usion of" Races . , . 

Individual C ases of Eminence ^ -^. • • 

^ Prevention "and Amelioration . . • . 

Conclusions • 

The Influence of Seasons.: — 

Upon Suicide • 

Attempts at Suicide 

Attacks of Insanity 

Murder and Murderous Assaults 

Crimes against Chastity .... 

All Crimes against the Person . 

Birth-rates (Legitimate and Illegitimate) . 

Marriage and Divorce .... 

Revolutions and Insurrections . 
Hypothesis of Solar Influence .... 

Appendix I. :— 

Extracts , -j »• 

ppendix II. : — 

On the Value of Statistics . • • • • 



» 



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» 



w 



9* 



99 



PAGS 

5 

8 

II 

17 ^ 

30 u 

35^, 
40^' 

43^ 

50 \/ 

66 

67 
68 
70 

74^ 

76 

80 
85 

91 

94 

98 
106 
108 

113 

121 
124 
132 

139 
146 



VII 



) 



i 



viii CONTENTS. 



Statistical Tables. 

PAGB 

Illegitimate Births. England, Scotland, and Ireland 6 
„ Birth-rate „ „ „ „ . 12 

„ „ in certain English Counties, 10 

years 15 

„ „ in certain Scotch Counties, 12 

years . • , • • .16 
„ „ to each 1,000 Unmarried Women, 

15-45, in England, Scotland, 
and Ireland . . . -19 
Comparisons of Illegitimacy— 

English Counties 21 

Irish „ 28 

Certain Cities and Country Districts . . . .31 
Worst Districts of England, 1842 and 1887 . . 3s 

Eastern Counties, 1842 and 1887 34 

Influence of Search for Paternity as a Right 49 
Illegitimate Birthrates in Different Countries 

OF Europe (noting prevailing Religion of each) . 52 
Comparisons of Illegitimacy in Scotland . 61, 63 
Age and Social Condition of Illegitimate 

Mothers . . . . . ' . . . 66, 68 

Mortality of Illegitimate Infants. . . .70 

Seasons and Suicide, Japan . . \ . -93 

„ „ Attempts at Suicide, England . .95 

„ „ Suicide in London (20 years) . . 96 

Curve Diagram : Attempts at Suicide, England and 

Wales 97 

Seasons and Attacks of Insanity, Scotland. . loi 
„ „ Suicides due to Madness or other 

Causes . .* 103 

„ „ Murders and Homicidal Assaults, 

England 106 

„ „ Crimes against Chastity, England 

AND Wales 109, 112 

„ „ Crimes against the Persons England, 

France, and Ireland . . .114 
„ „ Birth-rates, Legitimate and Illegiti- 
mate 1x6, 117, 118 

„ „ Birth-rate, England and Wales, 

1 840- 1 880 (Diagram) . . . .120 

Influence of Seasons upon Various Phases of 
Conduct 126-127 

Theory of Relation between Solar Influence 

AND Conduct 136 

Appendix II. — Various Statistical Tables . . 147-160 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 



igno^ nce ? l§^it influenre^ ^ ^;;gljg^^"i _^"^ 
may we detect any difference in the deterring 
suasion of diverging creeds? Is the pheno- 
menon a constant factor in a nation's birth- 
record year after year? _Xs if increasing or 
decreasing^,. ■W ha^-ty-t^ '^n^"^"^^^^^ race, 
ol' Itiiymiclflon, ol pubhc sentiment ? 

Th me g fert ^rtamiy questions of interest ; but 



t he replies thereto are, for ^\^ mn<£t:pa»rinar« 
ce ssible to the general re ader. Let us see to 
what extent they may be answered by an 
investigation of facts. 

Every science of to-day is based upon the 
accumulation of observed phemonena. No 
clever hypothesis, no imposing array of vener- 
able opinions, may serve as the substitute for 
actual knowledge ; and when this is wanting 
and observation impossible, science is satisfied 
to confess its ignorance. (Now, statistics, when 



gathered without other object than to record 
eve5tS'"as Ttlfey liccurrare oif peculiar and special 
value. yThey are the record of events ; not the 
building of hypotheses. •►In contemplation of 
them we stand, as it were, in audience with Truth 
itself, as distinct from that vague shadow of 
truth which the best opinion and most careful 



ILLEGITIMACY: 



estimate — apart from the facts themselves — can 
only be to us. 

But, if the truth, are they the whole Truth ? 
To what extent is their value vitiated by errors 
and omissions ? Of course ^bsolute accuracy 
cannot be hoped , especially m i(li>]JLLl to an 
event mvolvinsfso much of shame and aisg^race. 1 
Conccalmeni and infanticide undoubjtedly make 
the record everywhere lessTr ightful than its 
awfal leuLliLiy.^jButtakmg the statisticsrirfforded 
by governmental reports, we may be almost 
certain that they are now gathered with such 
absolute indifference to results as should always 
characterize the search for truth ; and that, 
apart from concealment, the errors in our day, 
at least, are so infinitesimal in number as not in 
any appreciable degree to impair their value. 

Of this there is one remarkable proof, to 
which the attention of the reader cannot be too 
frequently directed I it is the persistence of the 
phenomena year after year, with but slightly 
varying difference. ) This is one^proofjof^ccu- 
racy in statistical evidence , for it is highly im- 
probable that precisely the same error would 
repeat itself over a series of years. Science is 
inclined to doubt the alleged phenomenon that 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 



is not and cannot be repeated ; the physician 
places little reliance on the drug which con- 
tinually varies in effect, f For, as a rule, Nature 
presents us with uniform continuity in the ope- 
ration of her laws ; and we learn to expect from 
their operation, in any given period of time, 
not merely order, but a certain degree of per- 
sistence of repetition and invariableness. When, 
therefore, we discover that any event in human 
conduct is, year after year, so regular in appear- 
ance, so uniform in number, as almost to justify 
prediction for years to come, we may be almost 
certain that we are studying the effect of law. \ 
Take, for example, the number of illegitimate 
births, returned by the Registrar General of 
Births, Deaths, and Marriages, in each of the 
three principal divisions of the United King- 
dom. \See Table I.] 

This is certainly a remarkable exhibit. No 
one can study it, or note the even steps with 
which, year after year, this history of shame 
and sorrow repeats itself for over a quarter of 
a century, without a certain feeling of awe. 
Here is an event, involving in forty thousand 
English homes a certain degree of social ruin 
and disgrace ; yet it recurs again and again, 



ILLEGITIMACY : 



year after year, in almost precisely the same 
numbers, in almost exactly the same average 
frequency ! ( Let the eye glance, for instance, 
on the figures representing the number of 
illegitimate births in England and Wales, say 
in i879,)and then let us try for a moment to 



Table No. I. — Illegitimate Births in England, 
Scotland, and Ireland since 1879. 





England. 


Scotland. 


Ireland. 


1879 


42,189 


10,727 


3,367 


1880 


42,542 


10,589 


3,203 


I88I 


43.120 


10,484 


3,198 


1882 


43»i55 


10,546 


3,268 


1883 


42,646 


10,114 


3,049 


1884 


42,667 


10,439 


3,199 


1885 


42,793 


10,680 


3,218 


1886 


42,838 


10,506 


3,079 


1887 


42,134 


10,365 


3,181 


1888 


40,730 


9,968 


3,124 


1889 


40,627 


9,643 


3,049 

• 



bring before the mind some conception of the 
suffering and sorrow ; of the apprehension and 
dread; of the sense of immeasurable disgrace, 
felt not only by mothers themselves, but by 
relations and friends, which this vast number of 
unlawful and unblessed births occasioned on 



► 



'M 








^ 1 ^ STUDY IN MORALS. 



every side. ^Forty-two thousand, one hundred 
births registered as illegitimate !lf-almost three 
. times as many children as are born in all the 

I homes of Liverpool and Birmingham every 

year \) I Let us picture to ourselves the in- 
fluence of these sad examples of frailty; the 
warnings which they occasioned ; the moral 
each one pointed ; the admonitions it enforced ; 
the resolutions they occasioned ; and then esti- 
mate, if we can, the probable effect all this 
might be supposed to have in diminishing the 
evil in years to come. ^ Then drop the eye a 
line lower to the figures for the next year; and 
there is the same story of trouble and disgrace ; 
the same number of births, increased less than 
one per cent, meets our gaze, j The suffering, 
the unspeakable dread, the anguish, the remorse 
has been doubled ; the record is the same. We 
take the story of another year, and then the 
next, and how little is the variance ! Why is 
this monotone of sorrow unbroken "i Why is 
the tithe So pitiless in uniformity.'* For Nature 
does not more surely guarantee to the farmer 
the average product of his field than she gives 
to England, to Scotland, to Ireland, this annual 
harvest of sorrow and shame. 



/ 



8 ILLEGITIMACY: 

In the study of facts like these, it seems to 
me difficult not to see the uniform operation of 
natural laws in the government of human 
action. "^ We look in vain for evidence of the 
free play of volition, untouched by motives, 
undetermined by cause. Surely, if any step is 
ever made with the misgivings that would 
accompany an act of will, it would be that taken 
by so large a number of unmarried women in 
commencing relations involving consequences 
so serious throughout life ; and we should sup- 
pose that by no possible method could science 
determine the results of human choice governed 
by motives apparently so inscrutable. -i Yet pre- 
cisely the contrary is true. We can pf edict; and 
prediction of that which is to happen in future, 
is the test of science. With quite as much 
certainty as the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
calculates the average income of his budget a 
few months in advance, can the statistician pre- 
dict the number of illegitimate births which will 
occur for years to come. Certain exceptional 
circumstances may conceivably arise to disturb 
or vary the result, precisely as a war or a 
famine might overturn every calculation of Mr. 
Gladstone or Mr. Goschen ; but the chances of 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 



such an event are very small. fHow many 
women in England and Wales, the great 
majority of whom are to-day in innocent and 
happy girlhood, will hold in their arms in 1893 
the unwelcome offspring of shame ? Impos- 
sible to say ? Why, we cannot conceive that 
the number will be so few as 25,000, unless 
some awful convulsion of Nature,] an earth- 
quake, a famine, or the plague, shall destroy 
our population by the hundred thousand ; or 
some great war or invasion disturb society to 
its very foundation. Making every allowance 
for the action of agencies which is steadily and 
happily decreasing this social evil, we can 
hardly conceive of a lower number than 35,000 
illegitimate births in 1893 and 1894. The 
actual number will probably be nearer 38,000. 
Or to predict with yet greater precision, we 
may say, that of every thousand children born 
in England and Wales during the year 1893, at 
least 42 or 43 will be illegitimate. So assuredly 
can we depend upon the uniformity of the laws 
that govern human conduct, that we know what 
results will occur through passion and folly for 
years in advance. 

No imaginable human agency except war 



lo ILLEGITIMACY: 




could by the year 1892 or 1893 lower the ratio 
of births out of wedlock to, say, thirty per thou- 
sand. Without a sudden revolution in moral 
sentiment equally impossible, the rate of illegi- 
timacy could not rise in this country to sixty 
per thousand in so brief a period. 

I have little doubt, that during the few 
remaining years of this century, the rate for 
England and Wales will vary between forty- 
.three and forty- eight per thousand births. 
Tllrg ttimnry thrrnfr i rr ii in rTrnm plr of human 
action, based apparentlv upo n the fluctuating 
impuls e^ ot p ass ion, involv ing* the exercise of 
all that we call **free will" in one of the most 
important feuieigencies of individual life, yet, on 
the whole, governed' 15y iSxed and immutable 
laws. \ HidderriSeyond present knowledge, un- 
known, and possibly as unknowable, are the 
ultimate causes of all phenomena, whether it be 
the course of a planet in its orbit, the fall of 
an apple to the earth, or the uniformity of 
human action from year to year. Perhaps, 
however, it is possible to discover some of the 
proximate circumstances which apparently 
regulate this special manifestation of illicit 
conduct. 



A STUD y IN MORALS. - 1 1 

The differences in this respect to be observed 
among the people of different nationality, opens 

^ a field for investigation to which I shall refer 

hereafter. We are in the habit of ascribing all 
disparity of conduct or morals existing among 
different populations to a variety of causes an< 

/ special influences. With the gr eat major ity of 

us it is a fixed though unwritten creeoT^that 
nearly all the immorality (5f this world might 
he- pr AHiVn tpHin ^^snra g way by the general 
[iff usioh" of knowledge, the increase in national* 
-wf?a1th and prosperity, and, above all, by the 
mope general acceptance of. our own special 
and particular form of religious belief The 
problem hardl y admits of so easy solution. 
What, for instance, are we to make of differences 
in this respect among people of allied and 
intermingled lineage, guided by the same 
Government, living side by side in the same 
latitude, speaking the same language, holding 
to the same standards of moral obligation ? 
The most interesting of problems is suggested 
by this inquiry. Any one who examines the 
comparative frequency of illegitimate births 
occurring, say, in England, Scotland, and Ireland 
during a term of years, can hardly fail to be 



1 



12 



ILLEGITIMACY: 



impressed by the singular differences to be 
observed. The number of children bom out- 
side the marriage relation in each country does 
not permit that comparison we require; it is 
necessary that we ascertaiS what proportion 
these illicit births bear to the total number of 
children born. 

The following table therefore is of special 
value since it indicates the prevalence of Illegi- 
timacy in each of the three divisions of the 
United Kingdom for a period of years. 






Table II. — Of each Thousand Children born in 
England, Scotland, and Ireland, how many 
WERE Illegitimate? 



Year. 


Ireland. 


England. 


Scotland. 


1878 


23'^ 


47 


84 


1879 


25 


48 


8s 


1880 


25 


48 


85 


1881 


25 


49 


83 


1882 


27 


49 


83 


1883 


26 


48 


8[ 


1884 


27 


47 


81 


1885 


28 


48 


85 


1886 


27 


47 


82 


1887 


28 


48 


83 


1888 


29 


46 


81 


1889 


28 


46 


79 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 



13 



Here-i§._the record for more than ten years ; 
and curious enough we iivA it. Year after 
yecif, uf each l housan3rT)irth s i n S cotland , there 
\st twice as many illegitimate as in 
Englalid~^id Wales ; and more than three 
ti mes a s many as in Ireland. Even if this 
were an exceptional phenomenon it would com- 
mand attention ; but it is almost the invariable 
rule, extending over an entire decade, and going 
back, it may be, for centuries, in the past. What 
conclusions are we to gather from these facts ? 
That the peasant mother of Ireland is more 
solicito us fw ' "ri y§''cEa s'la y «J )f hei i latigiilei s than 
her^S is t e rfwi ygd ' t rf^SCotlarCT ah3^ ngland ? Are 
the precepts oT' virtue mo re h ighly prized and 
effectively inculcatfii^ Jn the mud- cabin s o] 
Mayo, than beneath the thatched roof of the 
Highland cotTer ? Or is superior virtue the 
resuIFoTeHucation ? WTi}^"theTfrsK'' peasantry 
are steeped in ignbrance, as compared with the 
laboufing population oF North- Britain. Shall 
we infer that vice and poverty eo hand-in- 
hand ? But an Englishman would not kennel 
his dogs in such cabins as I have seen in Achill 
and Western Ireland. Can vitjbejhfi effect of 
religious training and influence ? But Scotland 



14 ILLEGITIMACY : 

rejoices in the open Bible and the right to 
private judgment ; while Ireland submits her 
conscience to the control of her priesthood and 
the guidance of an Infallible Church. I have 
no intention to dismiss with a phrase or a sur- 
mise any of these conditions or circumstances ; 
if their influence is here apparently questioned, 
it is simply that the reader may perceive some 
of the difficulties of the problem which check 
all attempts at any off-hand solutions. 

But another singular fact confronts us. Not 
only has each great political division of Europe 
its special illegitimacy average, which it repeats 
pretty regularly year after year, but each de- 
partment and county, each city and neighbour- 
hood, has its own particular tribute of bastardy, 
which, with almost unfailing regularity, it con- 
tributes to the sum-total of the nation ! Ireland, 
for instance, does not differ more widely from 
England or Scotland than its counties differ 
from each other ; and although the variance 
from a uniform rate for a county is a trifle 
greater than for a nation, yet the figures are 
fairly steady from year to year. For instance, 
let us compare certain English and Welsh 
counties, showing specially high rate, with 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 



15 



Other parts of England. In this table the 
annual ratio is given for several successive 
years : — 

Table III. — To 1,000 Births in Different Sections of 
England and Wales how many were Illegitimate 
DURING A Period of Ten Years? 



Divisions and 






















xo Years 


Counties. 


1879. 
76 


x88o. 
80 


x88i. 
82 


1882. 
79 


1883. 
84 


X884. 
85 


1885. 
91 


x886. 
82 


X887. 
81 


x888. 
80 


Average. 


Shropshire . , 


82 


Cumberland. . 


77 


81 


79 


76 


72 


71 


75 


79 


72 


78 


76 


Hereford . . . 


68 


74 


75 


78 


79 


67 


77 


80 


74 


85 


76 


Norfolk . . . 


77 


79 


75 


78 


73 


70 


70 


72 


73 


74 


74 


Westmoreland . 


72 


71 


73 


84 


67 


71 


62 


69 


64 


69 


70 


North Wales . 


71 


67 


63 


68 


67 


68 


69 


75 


73 


73 


69 


All England 


48 


48 


49 


49 


48 


47 


48 


47 


48 


46 


48 


Devonshire . . 


48 


45 


47 


46 


48 


46 


48 


46 


48 


46 


47 


Somerset. . . 


44 


46 


44 


47 


44 


43 


42 


42 


41 


41 


43 


Hampshire . . 


45 


44 


46 


42 


43 


42 


43 


41 


41 


43 


43 


Kent .... 


43 


40 


44 


45 


43 


44 


43 


43 


43 


44 


43 


Surrey . . . 


Z7 


38 


42 


38 


39 


41 


44 


41 


40 


43 


40 



This is the record of ten years. Every 
year one section of the country pays twice the 
tribute of another part ; and yet both sections 
are equally under English laws, English cus- 
toms, English civilization. What, one may 
well ask, are the influences, the circumstances, 
the conditions, which produce such surprising 
contrasts between the social morality of Devon 
and Norfolk, or Surrey and Shropshire ? 

But England is not the only country where 



i6 ILLEGITIMACY: 

a wide divergence of morality may be observed. 
In Ireland the contrast between different coun- 
ties is even greater than elsewhere in the 
United Kingdom. In Scotland the average 
ratios of comparative prevalence of illegitimacy 
are everywhere high, yet not everywhere alike. 
For instance, compare the rate prevailing for 
many years in the following sections of Scot- 
land : — 
Table IV. — Of each i,ooo Births in Different Parts 0» 
Scotland, how many were Illegitimate? 







Annual Rate to 


innn 






I0» 


Ten Counties having 




r<h.. 


Ten Counties taivina 

'I'SIS.iX:' 




ILLtgiumscy. 


,<,V«rs. 

1B76-8S. 




1887. 


'"a^""' 


,SS6 


IBS,. 


Ross & Cromartie 


47 


48 


40 


Nairn .... 


106 


146 


•M 


Shetluid Isles. . 








Roxburgh. . . 


loS 






Dumbaiton 




54 


Si 




Caittiness . . . 






ii7 


Renfrew . 










Kincardine  . 




121 




Orkney Isles 






6^ 




Aberdeen . . . 








Bute . . . 






61 


(.7 




146 






Stirling . . 
Sulherland . 






t.7 


61 






1,8 








4B 






^53 






Fife . . . 
















Lanark . . 




69 


OS 






164 




165 


Average of the 








Average of the 








loCounlies. . 




5K 




10 Counties . 


13s 


"39 


137 



•Now, these differences are altogether too 
uniform to permit the liypothesis of mere 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 17 

accident or chance. The same singular 
phenomenon may be detected by comparing 
the different provinces, departments, or can- 
tons of Italy, France, Switzerland, and 
Germany, or the subdivisions of every large 
State of Europe. We are justified, I think, in 
assuming that these divergencies, so marked 
in moral action and so uniform in appearance 
year after year, are due to some potent causes 
acting continuously, yet with varying force, in 
the different communities of the same nation- 
ality. 

I have hitherto I alluded only to the more 
common method of measuring illegitimacy, 
which consists in ascertaining the proportion 
of children born out of legal wedlock in every 
thousand births. \ While this test is * fairly 
accurate, and is the most ready method for 
judging the underlying moral sentiment locally 
prevailing, \there is yet another comparison 
which is sometimes possible : I mean, the 
number of illegitimate children born annually 
to each thousand unmarried females at the 
child-bearing age. For instance, in 1881 the 
census of Scotland showed that there were 
then living in that portion of the kingdom 

c 



i8 ILLEGITIMACY: 



492,454 unmarried women (that is, spinsters 
and widows), between the ages of 1 5 and 45. 
During the ten years 18 78- 188 7 there were, 
born in Scotland 105,091 illegitimate children, 
or an annual average of over 21 to each 
thoqsand unmarried females at this specified 
age. ) In England and Wales the correspond- 
ing^number of the unmarried females was 
3,046,431 ; and the number of illegitimate 
births during same period was 426,184, or 
14 to each thousand of the possible mothers. 
In Ireland the number of unmarried women at 
this age was a third larger than in Scotland, or 
731,767. Yet to each thousand of these were 
born every year less than 5 illegitimate 
children, during a ten-year period, 1878-1887. 
Here again we are perplexed with the problem 
why Scotia and Hibernia should present such ' 
widely different contrasts. Every year in Scot- \ 
land there are five times the proportion of 
bastards that see the light in Ireland! Or, if i 
we throw the figures into a diagram, and carry - 
them out into decimals, we shall see the result 
as follows : — 



j 



->, 



I 

I 

I 

I 

I 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 



19 



Table V. — To each Thousand Unmarried Women (Widows 
AND Spinsters) between the Ages 15-45, how many 
Illegitimate Children were born annually, 1878- 
1887? 



Country. 



Ireland . 
England "^ 
and f 
Wales 3 
Scotland 



Rate of 
Illegitimacy. 



Proportionate Scale. 



4*4 
14*0 

21 '5 



I have spoken of the persistency of these 
differences year after year. Is any break of 
continuity discoverable ? Let us take, for 
instance, a county or group of registration 
districts which, at the present time, contrasted 
with some other localities, displays what, to 
put it mildly, we may call a lessened sensi- 
tiveness to moral injunctions. Year after 
year its rate of bastardy is considerably above 
the average for all England, and far exceeds 
that prevalent in other parts. Has this been 
the same for the past twenty, thirty, fifty 
years } Have Norfolk, and Shropshire, and 
Cumberland, not to speak of others, kept their 
undesirable pre-eminence ever since any know- 
ledge of their moral status was available ? 



1 

4 



20 ILLEGITIMACY : 



« \ 



1 



And how far back through the past centuries 1 
has that stream of tendency been flowing? 
Unfortunately, our ancestors paid but little 
attention to the slow gathering of dry facts. 
The moral condition of English life, say for the 
past three hundred years, we know only by the 
pictures of men and manners drawn by novelist 
and dramatist ; in the adventures of Tom Jones 
or the perils of Pamela. It is hardly fifty years 
since the first attempt was made in England 
to get foundation facts about its moral condi- 
tion in this respect. 

Now, a priori, what should we say would be 
the story they reveal } Can we make the least A 
guess as to the prevalence of illegitimacy forty 
or fifty years ago, or estimate the regions of 
greater or less proclivity } Not if all this is 
due to chance, independent of the law of 
causation. But if social phenomena depend 
upon the conjoint action of forces which have 
been continuously at work, then we should 
expect to discover that the area of least and 
the area of greatest tendency to immoral rela- 
tionships are almost exactly the same, even if 
we contrast epochs separated by nearly half a 
century. 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 



21 



Table VI. — Of Total Births, How Many of each 
Thousand were Illegitimate at Different 
Epochs ? England. 









10 years' 


10 years* 






English Counties. 


1842. 


1862. 


average 
1863-1872. 


average 
1879-1888. 


1889. 


1892. 


Cumberland . 


114 


113 


110 


76 


79 




Hereford . . 


106 


80 


82 


76 


77 




Norfolk . . 


99 


105 


101 


74 


69 




Westmoreland 


93 


112 


95 


70 


72 




Shropshire 


93 


98 


94 


82 


79 




All England 


67 


63 


59 


48 


46 




Hampshire . 


64 


55 


51 


43 


42 




Kent . . . 


63 


55 


49 


43 


43 




Somerset . . 


62 


57 


54 


43 


37 




Surrey . . . 


52 


47 


41 


40 


39 




Devon . . . 


51 


54 


58 


47 


43 





It may be stated as a rule, that in English 
counties where an abnormally high rate of 
illegitimacy prevailed in 1842, it has prevailed 
ever since ; that in counties where the average 
was then less than for all England, it is less to- 
day ; and that these peculiar differences have 
been in existence without great variation from 
one another, for almost half a century. For how 
much longer, we cannot say. Unrecognised 
and unsuspected, they have probably been in 
existence for centuries. 



22 ILLEGITIMA CX : 



And the same phenomenon is discovered if 
we compare the rates of illegitimacy in different 
sections of Scotland since 1855, when the first 
registration of these births was carried out. I 
shall refer to this hereafter in speaking of one 
great and most probable cause of the pheno- 
mena. It suffices to say now, that wherever in 
Scotland loose relationships were discovered to 
be frequent in r855 ^tnd 1856, there they are 
found to be frequent now ; and that wherever 
the rates of illegitimacy were then least, they 
are least to-day. Even from the first these 
discrepancies attracted attention, as a problem 
for which no solution seemed to present itself. 
Writing as far back as 1858, in the Report of 
the Registrar General, Dr. Stark says : ** It 
would be a very interesting and instructive 
subject to inquire what are the peculiarities in 
manners and morals among the inhabitants of 
those counties where illegitimacy is so very 
high as compared with the manners and morals 
of those counties in which illegitimacy is low. 
That there must be some great differences no 
one can doubt when the results are seen so 
visibly as that one county regularly furnishes 
nearly twice the proportion of illegitimate births 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 23 

of the othery When these words were written 
this phenomenal regularity had been observed 
but three or four years, and it has since con- 
tinued for more than thirty years. 
Whatarethe special causfiS._ofill( 



especially of its widely different prevalence 
among communities and nations? We are 
justified, I have said, in assuming that such 
causes prevail. ( If all mankind were alike 
in temperament, disposition, preferences, and 
habits, there could be no such manifest dis- 
similarity between different people as is now 
found in their regard for truthfulness, or their 
sense of honour : in their reverence for woman- 
hood, regard for the rights of others, or the 
value placed upon human life.^ It is certainly 
a fair hypothesis of all th at .i~ab li0l'niul m 
human conduct, which ascribes it, upon the 
w hole, to variations in character, in organiza - 
ti on and environment : to the stress of tempta- 
tion and the vitality of deterrent forces. Of 
course we cannot regard illegitimate births as a 
standard for anything like absolute measure- 
ment of moral delinquency. In some countries 
of Europe, marital infidelity may be far more 
frequent than in others, and coexist with a low 



24 ILLEGITIMACY: 



ratio of births out of marriage. This is posr ^ 
sible ; yet the excuse can hardly be maintained 
as applicable to differences between the inhabi- 
tants of the same country, living precisely 
under the same civilizing environment. We \ 
cannot thus account for the contrast between 
Brittany and Normandy for instance, not to 
mention a hundred others. And so as between "^ 
nations, the value of this theory — that the 
concealed sin on the one hand invariably coun- 
terbalances the notorious delinquency of the 
other — must be somewhat doubtfuL^Jt is not 
true that people are al l alike, except in ab ilitv i 
to c once al^heir.. vices, n;ffiRrpnrf^<^ jp ^^n ^u^t j 
abs olutely and truly exist Why ? Why 
should one people be better or worse than 
another in this one respect "i That is the j 
problem bgforp wfi— 

Of t he causes p fen^ rally supposed to be the 1 

pri ncipal factors in the production of vice and 
crime, — Poverty, Ignorance, and the cbntamin- , 

ations of great cities, stand a mong the first. 
Let us very bnefiy examine the potency of 
these as predisposing to the prevalence of 
illegitimacy. 



s. 



\ 

\ 
STUDY IN MORALS, \ 

\ 



I. Poverty. 

be no doubt that wealth, or at 
feast a com petence, does secure to its pos - 
sessors cer taja.^pfcgnarHg against temptatjp ns, 

which assail not only the hungry and home- 
less, but those who are struggling for daily 
bread. The domestic servant has a poorer 
chance than the daughter of her mistress ; 
the seamstress, bending over her needlework 
twelve hours a day, is not on an equality 
of temptation with those for whose pride and 
folly she wastes her life. It is therefore prob- 
able that in many cases the pinch of poverty^ 
does weaken the' barriers against temptation. I 
Charles Kingsley indeed .has made the poacher^s 
widow thus excuse her children's shame : — 

" We quarrelled like brutes, and who wonders ? 
What self-respect could we keep 
Worse housed than your hacks and your pointers, 
Worse fed -than your hogs andjour sheep ? 

" Our daughters, with base-born babies, 
* Have wandered away in their shame ; 
If your misses had slept, Squire, where they did, 
Your d auMerA. mishLdo the same I " 

I And yet it is perfectly evident that poverty of 
itself does not predispose to vice or to loose- 
ness of morals.] we hardly need statistics in 



'^^ ILLEGITIMACY : 



proof of this, and yet they most potently con- 
firm the general belief. I f we l ook at those 
sections of the United Kingdom where 
is most hopeless and pressure for the barest 
necessities of life the strongest, it is there, in 
very many instances, that we find the least 
endency to illicit relations, so far as these are 
easurable by their most natural result. In 
reland, for example, we find the rate of 
astardy is less than that in England or Scot- 
nd. Yet no one can question the misery 
n which the Irish peasantry has been steeped 
for centuries. But some parts of Ireland are 
exceptionally poverty stricken, and some sec- 
jrions, measured by an Irish standard, ex- 
TSptionally prosperous, j Two counties. Mayo 
and Down — one on the bleak and barren coast 
of the Atlantic, the other in prosperous Ulster, 
— each containing by the census of 1881 about 
the same number of inhabitants, present a con- 
trast which is worth a moment's special study. 

Of the relative prosperity of the two sections 
we may obtain a fair idea through the Irish 
census of i88i. Four classes of dwelling 
houses were enumerated. Houses of the 
fourth class were defined as " built of mud or 



II A STUDY IN MORALS. 27 

perishable materials, with only one room and 
one window ; " homes, we may say, unfit for 
\ human habitation, and (equalled only by the 
* dwellings of the most barbaric tribes. The 
\ third class included houses of similar character 
but somewhat better built, of less perishable 
materials, and containing more than a single 
' room or a single window. Houses somewhat 
superior to these constituted the remainder. 
Now in 1 88 1 in County Mayo more than three- 
fourths of the poptdation were enumerated as 
> occupying dwellings of the third and fourth 
classes. In County Down scarcely one-third 
of the people were equally impoverished. In 
Mayo but little over one-eighth of its surface is 
susceptible even to cultivation, and forty per 
cent, is either barren or bog. From personal 
observation pf many lands, I know of none 
where nature seems to have so strongly leagued 
with misrule to make prosperity impossible, as 
in Mayo, Ireland. In County Down, on the 
, other hand, only eight per cent, of the land is 
intractable to the husbandman ; and nearly half 
its total area is actually under tillage. 

Now, how do these two sections of the same 
^ country differ in that sentiment of morality 

\ 



28 



ILLEGITIMACY: 



which at least tends to prevent illegitimate 
births ? In order that the student may have 
opportunity to reach his own conclusions, the 
figures for ten years are given in the table 
below. 

Table VIL— Comparison of Illegitimacy in two Irish 
Counties (Down and Mayo) during io years, 

1879-1888. 



County. 


No. of Illegitimate Births each year. 


1879 


x88o 


x88i 

29 
328 


1882 

34 
322 


1883 

33 
284 


1884 

28 
269 


1885 

36 
312 


1886 1887 


1888 

27 

292 


Total. 


Mayo 
Down 


31 

337 


51 

287 


23 
322 


30 
331 


322 
3084 



I have carried out these figures for so long 
a period that the reader may see that the 
phenomena] preponderance of bastardy in 
Down was persistent year after year. Com- 
pare now the proportion of these births to the 
total number born : — 



County. 


Total Births 
10 years, 
1879-88. 


Total Number 

of 

Illegitimate 

Births. 


To 1,000 

Total Births, 

how many 

illegitimate ? 


Mayo (Con- 
naught) . . 
Down (Ulster) 


57,141 
60,346 


322 

3084 


5-6 
6I1 



• • • • • 
^ • • • !• 






ft 



f I 



k 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 



29 



< [ 



k 



What do these figures reveal ? On the one 
hand we have a section of prosperous and 
happy Ulster, wherein the average rate of 
illegitimacy for ten years was 5 1 per thousand 
births, greater than that in England and Wales ; 
while the wretched land of barrenness and bog 
shows a ratio less than any county in England, 
Scotland, or Ireland, and possibly less than 
elsewhere in Europe! If we look at the re- 
lation between illegitimate births and the un- 
married and nubile womanhood between ages 
of 15 and 45, we shall see a somewhat modified 
result, yet practically the same. 



Mayo (Connaught) 
Down (Ulster) . . 

All Ireland. . 



No. of Un- 
married Women 
living between 
ages of 15-45- 




To lOjCXX) Un- 
married Women 15-45! 
how many illegitimate 
births annually during 
ten years, 1879-88 ? 



11 

90 
44 



I shall not at this point attempt any explana- 
tion of these figures, suggestive as they are to 
every thinker. They_certainly do not imply 
that destitution, hunger, and chronic wretched- 



' **«• 



Jily.;^ although 
?rhaps be too 
jination to re- 
Lie. 

d in Scotland, 
i, and it exists 
Not that poor 
lolt virtuous ; 
liere such uni- ,„ 
ice of a people 
;y, as to justify 
of moral de- 
mntry can be 
? its poverty. 

_the virtue s of 

leme for drain- 

txtenl "tHere Ts 

ief f Crime, as 

of population ; 

ef seeks com- 

ims of a great 

ouble " would 

perhaps hide her shame in town, j It may be 

doubted however, whether, in proportion to total 

population, the percentage of the vicious is so 



A STUDY IN MORALS, 



31 



i 

I* 

■} 

/ 

i 






\ 



I ; 



much greater in cities than in rural communities, 
f Is the virtue of chastity far more highly prized 
by the peasant ? It is not made evident by 
statistics. The great cities of England nearly 
all show . a proportion of illegitimate births 
below the rate prevalent in certain agricultural 
and rural districts, inhabited by an honest, 
sober, industrious and estimable populations 
Contrast, for instance, the number of illegitimate 
in every thousand births as they occur in the 
three principal cities of England, with the rate 
which obtains in some of the most beautiful 
of rural resorts 

Table VIII. — City and Country. To 1,000 Births, 
how many were illegitimate? 





1885 


1886 


1887 


1888 


1889 


1890 


1891 


London . . . 


40 


38 


40 


38 


38 






Birmingham . 


40 


43 


50 


53 


45 






Liverpool . . 


61 


61 


66 


57 


58 






North Wales 


69 


75 


73 


73 


71 






Westmoreland . 


62 


69 


64 


69 


72 






Cumberland 


75 


79 


72 


78 


79 






Shropshire . . 


91 


82 


8[ 


80 


79 







such 



It may be said that in large cities many 

births escape registration and are put down as 



32 ILLEGITIMACY: 

legitimate. This of course may be. possible 
to some extent, but I should hardly think that 
it could account for these differences to any 
degree. For if the rate of bastardy in Shrop- 
shire or Cumberland was universal throughout 
England, it would mean an addition every year 
of thirty thousand illegitimate births to the 
total for England and Wales. 

Jt is a singular fact that not only counties 
but far smaller sub-divisions of counties some- 
times exhibit a perverse and violent tendency 
toward illegitimacy. The worst districts show 
a rate nearly double that of England and 
Wales. I was curious to ascertain how long 
this peculiar pre-eminence in bastardy had 
adhered to certain circumscribed localities ; and 
in the following table I give the average of 
five recent years (1884- 1888) for the worst 
districts of England and Wales. It is interest- 
ing to compare the present condition of affairs 
with the tendency noted by the Registrar- 
General, nearly half a century ago. 

In regard to this table the reader will at 
once note several peculiarities. In every one 
of these rural districts the proportion of bastardy 
is exceeding4y high, in nearly all of them more 



\ 



A 



A STUDY IN MORALS, 



33 



Table IX. — Of each 1,000 Births, how many were 
Illegitimate in the following Registration Dis- 
tricts OF England and Wales during periods 
mentioned below ? 



Name of Registra- 
tion District. 


County. 

• 


Annual Average 
1884-1888 
(5 years). 


1842. 


Longtown . . . 


Cumberland . 


177 


172 


Alston .... 


>» . • 


132 


125 


Clun .... 


Shropshire . . 


122 


109 


Rhayader . . . 


South Wales . 


121 


145 


Brampton . . . 


Cumberland . 


117 


172 


Pwllheli . . . 


North Wales . 


114 


76 


Lllanfyllin . . . 


>» >> 


103 


80 


Church Stretton . 


Shropshire . . 


98 


109 


Downham . . . 


Norfolk . . 


96 


86 


Docking . . . 


>> 


96 


104 


Bromyard . . . 


Hereford . . 


96 


125 


Machynlleth . . 


North Wales . 


93 


80 


Anglesey . . . 


» » 


89 


78 


Newtown . . . 


» i> 


95 


103 


Walsingham . . 


Norfolk . . 


83 


104 


All England . 




47 


67 



than double the rate of England as a whole. 
Half a century ago the rate of illegitimacy in 
every 07ie of these districts was also higher^ and 
in most cases far higher, than the average of 
the country at large. There are therefore 
certain sections of England and Wales where 
every sixth or seventh or eighth child is a 

D 



34 



ILLEGITIMACY: 



bastard ! Yet every one of these ' districts is 
at some distance from any great city. It is a 
curious fact that in three English counties ad- 
joining each other, the rate of illegitimacy 
seems to increase in proportion to their distance 
from London, and this peculi arity goes back 
many years. 

Table X. — To each i,ooo Births, how many were 

Illegitimate ? 



County. 


1842 


1851 


1852 


Ten years' Average. 
I 879-1 888. 


C^SS6X . • • 

Suffolk. . . 
Norfolk . . 


53 
81 

99 


69 

88 

III 


71 

81 

114 


34. 

57 

74 





Is r ural life then favoura ble t o these illicit 
relationshij 



>ne can hardly affirni this at 
present. There may be a tendency to change 
of residence by young women in trouble from 
cities to their country homes, or from rural 
neighbourhoods to the city streets. How far 
these counterbalance each other one cannot 
say. Probably the equilibrum is not much dis- 
turbed either way, since changes of habitation 
are impossible to the great mass of the lower 
orders. In large towns there is possibly more 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 35 

of vice and dissipation than in the country ; 
at all events it is there more concentrated 
and obvious.) The statistics I have gathered 
certainly would indicate that a singularly lax 
theory of sexual morality obtains in some of 
the most secluded and remote districts of Eng- 
land, Scotland and Wales. One little district 
where for many years about one in every seven 
children was born illegitimate/ rejoices in per- 
haps the longest and most unfamiliar name in 
Great Britain — Llanfihangelytraethau. If the 
same rate of illegitimacy obtained throughout 
England as is maintained annually in this 
sylvan retreat, the numt^r of such births in 
this country wou l4^,4ge increa sed by more than 
7 5 ,ooo^e3te*3r^!?ar! 

JNFLUENCE OF EDUCATION. 

What influence upuil iiiuial sentiment can we 
ascribe to the general diffusion of secular educa- 
tion ?( A generation ago the theory that ignorance 
was the great cause of vice and crime became 
an accepted axiom. Statistics were pressed into 
service ; it was shown that the majority of 

* The rate of illegitimacy in this district during five 
years ( 1 884-1 888) was ahnost exactly 133 per thousand; 
three times that of England and Wales. 



'V. 



i 



36 ILLEGITIMACY: 



criminals could not read or write ; and this / 
educational defect was assumed to be, in a \ 
great measure, the cause of their tendency ' 
towards vicious and depraved livelihood. To 
some slight extent the theory may possibly 
have been correct ; but so far as illegitimacy is 
concerned, I doubt if we can detect any certdin 
.deterrent influence in rudimentary education!' 
districts or countries where a high standard of 

elementary education prevails do not appear to 
laintain any marked pre-eminence of morals 

ibove their more ignorant neighbours/j If the 
^theory were true which ascribes a moral influ- 
ence to secular learning, then in every land 
where the ability to read and write is most 
widely possessed, we should expect to find a 
decreased rate of bastardy as compared with 
nations where popular education has made no 
headway. 

But the facts generally are most absolutely 
opposed to this hypothesis. If we study the 
map of Europe, we find that many countries 
where popular education is widely diffused 
among all classes, such as Denmark, Norway 
and Sweden, Prussia, Saxony, and Scotland, 
.show a high rate of illegitimacy, while in some 



A STUDY IN MORALS, yj 

Others, such as Russia and Ireland, the rate is 
very low. Even in the same country, and 
under the same laws, we do not find that virtue 
and the spelling book are invariably associated. 
( Many years ago it was observed that in Scot- 
land **the counties which show the highest 
proportion of illegitimacy are the counties which 
are in the highest condition as to education; 
while, on the other hand, the counties which 
produce the fewest illegitimate births ^re those 
where education is at the lowest ebb.V That 
was written nearly thirty years ago, but no 
change in the annual phenomenon has been 
since observed. Take one curious instance. 
Of the number of women married in Kirkcud- 
bright, a county in southern Scotland, 99 per 
cent, are able to write their names in the 
marriage register ; showing a larger proportion 
of women thus far educated than in any country 
of Europe or any county of England or Wales. 
Yet the rate of bastardy which there annually 
prevails is, year by year, greater than in any 
one of the 89 departments of France, Paris 
only excepted ! This is not a solitary instance. 

* See Reg. Gen. Report for Scotland, for the year 1862. 



/ 



/■ 



38 ILLEGITIMACY : 

During the ten year period, 1879-1888, there 
was not a single year in which the rate of 
illegitimacy was not four times as high in Ulster 
as in Connaught; yet in which province is 
education more general ? In France, putting 
Paris aside, those departments where ignorance 
of the alphabet is most general, are in many 
cases the very ones which hold the virtue of 
chastity in highest esteem. Finisterre for ex- 
ample, of the 89 departments of France, stands 
first for the ignorance of the male population 
and first for the illiteracy of its women ; yet its 
rate of illegitimacy during the period observed 
was but 34 per 1,000 births; less than that 
which prevailed during the same time in any one 
of^the counties of England, Wales, or Scotland, 
e have now passed in rapid review some 

the imputed causes of this departure from 
focial morality, \ind tested by the evidence of 
ffacts they fail to account for the different moral 
standards which in different localities tend to 
prevail. \We cannot ascribe this laxity of conduct 
to poverty, since it least manifests itself where 
destitution and want have fixed their strongest 
hold. )The absence of secular education is not 

sufficient cause. In the great ceptres of 



f> 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 39 

y 

 -  -- ^ 

commerce and manufacture it has not such rate 
of prevalence as we observe "far from the 
madding crowd" in the secluded vHlages of 
the Lake Country, or among the hills of Wales. 
What then are the causes ?^ Surely it is no 
blind Fate which has thus cursed the Saxon, 
the Swede, and the Dane; it is no peculiar 
"predestination" to evil-doing that gives to 
Scotland its unfortunate pre-eminence. Some 
agencies are continually at play to create that 
divergence which never fails to excite the 
wonder of the student while contemplating the 
record of facts. [ And while I cannot claim that 
the evidence sumces to make doubt no longer 
possible, it seems to me that the wide and 
apparently irreconcilable differences which exist 
in regard to the local prevalence of illegitimacy, 
may be ascribed, with so strong degree of 
presumption in their favour as to make it "a 
working hypothesis,** chiefly to three great 
causes. These are : — ■? 

I. Religion. 
II. Legislation, and legal impediments to 

marriage. 
III. Heredity, or the ihfluence of race and 

ancestry. 



mm 



40 ILLEGITIMACY: 



I. Religion. 



The effect of religious belief upon human 
conduct is beyond question. At every age of 
the world s history it has influenced legislation, 
incited or repressed warfare, and tended on the 
whole to solidify and crystallise the best ele- 
ments of advancing civilization. As I propose 
hereafter to treat the larger question of its 
influence as a restraint against vice and crime, 
it is, perhaps, needless now to anticipate the 
argument there to be advanced, or the conclu- 
sion to be reached. But some reference must 
be made to one of the most potent of agencies 
in checking the passions and proclivities of the 
human animal. 

[ Granting its immense force upon human con- 
science, in the abstract, does its power depend 
in any sense upon the truth of its dogmatic 
teaching ? At first glance there seems to be 
no question about it. f Nearly every one who 
may read these pages is convinced that his 
own particular system of belief is the true basis 
of a sound morality : that the world would be 
all the better if they could adopt his creed \m 
and that to the unsound theology of corrupt: 
systems of faith we must ascribe the moral 



A STUDY IN MORALS, 41 

failure of a wicked world. Is this overstated ? 
Is there any reader who admits that another 
system of belief than the one he cherishes 
would make him a better man ? 

It may be of interest for the student — what- 
ever his religious faith may be — to test for 
himself, by reference to the tabulated statements 
he may find in these pages, the question of 
relationship between a true creed and that 
conduct which should be its invariable result. 
Does he believe, for instance, that the highest 
appreciation of chastity depends upon the 
spiritual acceptance of Calvinistic theology ; in 
reverence for the sanctity of the Sabbath, and 
abhorrence of the Papacy ? Let him ponder 
over the statistics of Scotland, and explain 
why this land of strictest Sabbath keeping and 
purest Calvinism exhibits double the illegiti- 
macy of England every year. Does he hold 
that the pre-eminent excellence of the theology 
of Martin Luther is evidenced by the morality 
of its believers ? Let him study the records 
of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, where 
Lutheranism for centuries has held undivided 
sway. Does he claim that the infallible creed 
of the Roman Catholic Church insures its ad- 



42 ILLEGITIMACY : 

herents superiority in morals ? Then upon 
this hypothesis he must explain why Austria 
and Bavaria are so low down on this scale. 
Is it, then, to believers in the thrrty-nine arti- 
cles of the Established Church of England that 
we are driven to look for freedom from frailty ? 
But where in England is the rate of illegitimacy 
so low as in Russia or in Greece, — not to speak 
of Ireland at her side ? 

In the face of paradoxes like these it would 
seem almost a contradiction of terms to assert 
Religion as one of the great efficient fqrces 
regulating and controlling the conduct of human 
passion. We know that its effect is infinitely 
great in individual cases ; how then, we ask, 
does each phase of faith seem in certain in- 
stances to lose its hold "i In another work 
the question will be discussed and a solution 
suggested. That in every age the religious 
sentiment of humanity has exerted a very 
powerful influence upon conduct cannot be 
questioned ; although it may be doubted how far 
this influence, so far as the great seething mass 
of human beings are concerned, is not generally 
subordinate to the other and even stronger 
forces that move humanity toward action. 



Wg A STUDY JN MORALS. 43 

^ I A\. Legislation . 

' f (A favourite maxim with a certain scliool 

» of writers is that the State cannot make 

'' ^ men moral by Act of Parliament, j So far 
as this . apophthegm is intended to imply that 

1^ I legislation cannot anH does not influence con- 
(I duct for right or wrong, it is contradicted by 
M universal experience. -A^In every instance it is 

 the State that makes of an act a crime\ As 

. J| I write, a member of the House of Commons 

'* expelled from Parliament, is undergoing a term 

/of imprisonment for an act which he might 
have done with impunity up to a few years ago. 
fc_ Then, the English conscience being aroused, 

L Parliament made a new crime. Poaching, 

* for instance, is wrong in England, but not in 

r America ; the law of the land makes the 

^ offence. A blind man begging on the steps 

rof St. Paul's in London would be taken into 
custody as a vagabond ; before the Church 
rof the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, or of 
St. Peter's in Rome, he receives big tribute of 



■F*"-=rii-r. -JUBsar: -if^ 






r 



44 ILLEGITIMACY : 



it has been done. Two sovereigns that once 
occupied the throne of England, daughters of 
Henry VIII., were both illegitimate as far as 
the law could make them, but by the first Act of 
her reign, Mary hastened to erase the stigma 
against herself. Lord Kames tells us that in 
1707, Iceland having become almost depopu- 
lated by an epidemic, the King of Denmark 
issued a proclamation, making legitimate all 
children born thereafter in the island, to this 
extent, that no unmarried mother was to be 
deemed to have lost her reputation until her 
progeny exceeded six ! The effect may be 
imagined. 

While in Utah some years since, a lady 
showed me a photograph of a large group of 
girls about the same age. At first glance I 
took them to be classmates of a school. *' They 
are some of my husband's daughters,*' she 
explained, ** the three at the right are my 
own." Custom, religion and local laws, made 
them then and there legitimate children. 

In what way does legislation influence the 
rate of illegitimacy ? f I think we may say in the 
first place — that every impediment to marriage 
I tends to increase illicit relaiTohships. jit does 



r 



I 






A STUDY IN MORALS. 4s 



I r^^* at f^^^ ^'^IIp^ ^^^^^ f\y(^^F^ restrictions are 
unwii^>y~4;>r should be abolished. Tin Bavaria, 

iat one time, no young man was permitted to 
marry until he could prove reasonable ability 
i to support a family ; and Bavaria, twenty-four 
years ago, stood first in Europe for the pro- 
portionate number of its illegitimate births. 
In various European countries the young mar| 
must not marry until he has completed hi 
military service. In France, consent of parent 
is a legal necessity up to a certain time. In all 
countries legal marriage costs money, not much, 
but yet something ; and a growing inclinatio 
is everywhere noticed among the working 
classes of the Continent to dispense with all 
ceremonies and simply go to house-keeping. 
Dr. Bertillon has estimated that in Paris ther^^ 
are probably no less than 80,000 homes where I 
the parents are living in harmony, and educa- I 
ting their children, married in every sense of/ 
the word, except that they refuse to obtain the / 
sanction of either Church or State. But their/ 
children are illegitimate. In Italy, another and* 
very sad phase of illegitimacy is the result of 
the present struggle between Church and State. 
To the pious Catholic, marriage is a sacrament 



46 ILLEGITIMACY : 



which needs no sanction from human govern- 
ment to make it valid. But in the eye of the law 
marriage is simply a cjvil registration, without 
which no sacraments or ceremonies of religion 
can make cohabitation other than illegal. Un- 
fortunately, hundreds of poor girls have relied 
solely on their religious marriage, only to find 
themselves mothers of bastard children whose 
legal rights the law cannot acknowledge.^ Yet 
: the State is quite within its rights in demanding 
^ivil registration as a needful adjunct to religious 
dipremony. The trouble is that in Italy the 
Churches at wai with lliti i5tale. 

In England too, the law makes relationships 

illegitimate, which are perfectly regular in other 

parts of the English-speaking world. Children 

of a deceased wife's sister are bastards in 

England, yet legitimate everywhere else in 

r Australia, in Canada, and in the United States. 

I (In some communities the tendency is to make 

1 all sexual relationships legitimate, if no legal 

I impediment exists, j No ceremony of any kind 

Vwhatever, civil or religious, is necessary to con- 

Istitute a legal marriage in the State of New 

^ See the "Story of Ida," with introduction by John 
Ruskin. 



A STUDY IN MORALS, 



47 



York. If two parties, living together, speak 
of -each other as husband and wife, this pubHc 
acknowledgment is all that is requisite to con- 
stitute their relatioa in the eyes of the law, a 
perfectly valid marriage, always supposing that 
there be no previous relationship of the kind. 
Yet children born from such a union, and legiti- 
mate in New York, are counted as bastards by 
every nation of Europe. . The State is here 
supreme, and the wish of the people is the 
State. —^ 

f I think it perfectly evident that if throughout 
\Europe all obstacles to marriagje were abolished ; 
if parental prudence were given no power to 
oppose ; if all that is necessary wer6 simply 
the registration of intention before a public 
official qualified to take acknowledgments, an 
act of recognition obtainable at all times, 
publicly or privately, by rich or poor, without 
fee or cost of any kind, it would undoubtedly 
add to the greater frequency of the legal tie 
among the poorer class, and decrease in very 
great proportion the prevalence of illegitimate 
births. J 

To what extent is illegitimacy increased or 
modified by the legal opportunity which in 




m M ^a t i HI 



48 ILLEGITIMACY : 



some countries exists of proving paternity and 
legitimizing the offspring ? The two things 
are not the same. England permits the search 
for the putative paternity, but refuses to admit 
the bar sinister ever r^p be rubbed out. In 
Scotland, on the contrary, marriage of the 
parents makes a bastard legitimate. Does this 
possibility of reparation lead to greater fre- 
quency of ante-marital faults ? Possibly, to 
some extent, though I should doubt if it had 
so much influence as is often supposed. This 
reparation by marriage can be nearly always 
made before the child is born ; and if not made 
during pregnancy in spite of all pleading, the 
chance of its being made afterwards must be 
so slight that its influence I should think would 
be equally insignificant. 

' Somewhat otherwise must be the effect of. 
refusing or permitting to a girl-mother any legal ^ 
right of imputing the paternity of her offspring; 
In the majority of countries of Europe this 
inquiry may be made ; in a few, it is entirely 
refused, and the mother must expect to bear 
the burden and responsibility for herself The 
certainty that the father of her child need never 
be called upon for the least assistance would 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 



49 



naturally, we should think, influence hesitation. 
Doubtless it does to some extent, but the in- 
fluence is far from producing uniformity, and 
cannot be very strong. Compare, for instance, 
the prevalent rate of illegitimacy in countries 
permitting or refusing this right of inquiry. 

Table XL — To i,ooo Children Born, how many 
WERE Illegitimate during the period of Five 
Years (1878-82) ? Stillbirths not Included. 



Countries where in- 


Rate to 


Countries where in- 


Rate to 


quiry as to paternity 
is refused. 


1,000 
Births. 


quiry as to paternity 
is allowed. 


i,oco 
Births. 


Belgium . . . 
France . . . 
Italy .... 
Holland . . . 


77 
74 
73 
30 


Austria . . . 
Saxony . . . 
Bavaria , , . 
Sweden , . . 


143 
127 

132 

lOI 


Russia. • . . 


28 


Denmark . . . 


lOI 






Scotland . . . 


84 






England & Wales 
Switzerland . . 


48 

47 






Ireland . . . 


25 



It is probable that certain forces here neutra- 
lise each other. 

The highest rates of illegitimacy are certainly 
found where research for paternity is allowed ; 
but then also and in the same group, are coun- 
tries whose rate is exceedingly low. The 

E 



so ILLEGITIMACY: 

refusal seems almost a gratuitous cruelty, even 
if it be like capital punishment in cases of theft 
— ^somewhat of a deterrent 
III. Heredity. 



r 



But of all causes of human conduct, one of 
the most potent is probably the predisposition 
that lies wrapped in organization, and which 
is passed onward by inheritanceJ That races 
as well / as individuals differ in mental and 
moral tendencies as well as in physical char- 
acteristics, seems to have been recognised 
from the dawn of history. The earliest con- 
querors of neighbouring or distant tribes must 
have noted that one clan was war-like, another 
timid and treacherous ; one people easy to 
bring under subjection, another impatient of 
restraint and quick to rebel, r There appears 
thus to be a tendency in human nature for 
propensities and virtues to become crystallized, 
and for proclivities, active for generations, to 
become in some way fixed elements of char- 
acter and physique. J It is a trite saying that 
" civilization is but a thin crust over innate bar- 
barism ; " and now and then the world stands 
aghast when this savage love of cruelty, this 
hereditary viciousness breaks through all re- 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 51 



straints, and the savage stands revealed to him- 
self. ' No two nations of Europe — probably no 
two nations in the world — are alike in love of 
decency, in appreciation of virtue, in proclivi- 
ties to vicious indulgence, or in subjection to 
morali and religious restraints. That one may 
see how complete is this difference, I have 
drawn up the following table from the facts 
presented by Dr. J. Bertillon, but re-arranged 
in order of least prevalence of illegitimate 
births, during the period named, to the total 
number of children born. (See next page.) 

If these peculiar differences were unevenly 
fluctuating from year to year, it would be im- 
possible to explain them on the hypothesis of 
heredity. But the phenomena is persistent. It 
has existed as far back as accurate facts have 
been at our disposal. Changes are going on ; 
in some nations the rate is possibly rising, in 
others it is certainly falling. The progress in 
either direction, measured by single years, is 
comparatively slow. 

It will be noted that, with few exceptions, the 
Northern nations of Europe of Scandinavian or 
Teutonic origin, apparently show the strongest 
proclivity to those ante-marital irregularities of 



9C 



^Z^^^^7^SQ^9Vi 



52 



ILLEGITIMACY: 



Table XII. — Comparison of Illegitimate Births 

AMONG PRINCIPAL NATIONS OF EUROPE (FiVE YeARS, 
1878-1882).* 









To each 10,000 






To 1,000 


women un- 


Country. 


Prevailing 


Births how 


married over 15, 


Religion. 


many were 


how many ille- 


- 




illegitimate. 


gitimate births 


<r — N. 






per year. 


<^^^\M^::3^ Ireland . . 


Roman Catholic 


25 


31 


fi-ussia • . 


Greek „ 


28 




Holland . . 


/ Two-thirds % 
\ Protestant \ 
^Nearly equally \ 
\ divided J 


30 


66 


Switzerland . 


47 


74 


England and) 
Wales . J 


Protestant 


48 


103 


Italy . . . 


Roman Catholic 


73 


169 


France . . 


9) » 


74 


109 


Belgium . . 


»> >» 


77 


139 


Prussia . . 


Lutheran 


77 


182 


Norway . . 


» 


82 


146 


Scotland . , 


CaMnism 


84 


151 


German 
Empire 


Two-thirds Pro A 
testant ) 


89 


206 


Denmark . . 


Lutheran 


lOI 


203 


Sweden . . 


»f 


lOI 


158- 


Saxony . . 


.. 96% 


127 


343 


Bavaria • . 


Roman Catholic 


132 


295 


Austria • . 


» » 


143 


330 



•• <» 



* For the averages of this table I am indebted to the 
paper of Dr. Jacques Bertillon, read before the Inter- 
national Congress of Hygiene and Demography, at Vienna. 



A STUDY IN MORALS, 



53 



I WK J W I 




which illegitimacy is a sort of gauge. Why 
should it be so prevalent in Norway, Scotland, 
Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Prussia, 
Saxony, Austria and Bavaria ? Why does 
Holland stand almost alone on the Continent ? 
We cannot ascribe it to her religion, for look at 
Saxony ! We are dealing here not with worn- 
out or effete civilizations, nor with peoples given 
over to mad indulgence, and blind to all 
straints.r I venture to ^believe that partly in 
local customs, partly in existence of impedi- 
ments to early marriages, partly to causes con- 
nected with religion, but most of all to the in- 
heritance of Race and the proclivities of im- 
mediate ancestry we must look for any satisfac- 
tory explanation of these curious differences 
Of course it needs constantly to be borne in 
mind that the rate of illegitimacy is no standard 
whatever of iipprriHnn mpn ls. and that in 
some countries an immense amount ofjiiarital 



infi[flelit y occu rs, vet le aves nothipg^ for the 
statistician to record. A But everywhere, top, 
the upper and prosperous classes are less in 
number than the great mass of the people, and 
regarding these, it is a tolerably fair exponent 
Chiefly upon hereditary predisposition or 



A 



1 



54 ILLEGITIMACY : 

organization, persistent through successive 
generations of families, I am inclined to ascribe 
in great measure that most remarkable pheno- 
menon to which allusion has been made ; I 
me an the persistent and wide difference in 
moral stamina apparent in sections of the same 
country. It is a tenet of the national lailh, llnrt- 
le morals of an r^^^^^^jj^ Fn^rUcVimari are better 
than those — let us say, of a Neapolitan or a 
T urk"; but what of differences b etween North 
a nd Sout h Fnjjhnd, or bf^t^v^^n East Anglia 
and Wessex ? They are all English, influenced 
by the same religion, governed by the same 
code of laws ; why then do they differ ? Dr. 
Jacques Bertillon has pointed out that a line 
drawn on the map of France between Nor- 
mandy and Brittany, and running south-easterly 
to Lyons and Geneva, very accurately divides 
those departments of France where illegitimacy 
is largely prevalent from those where it is com- 
paratively rarp; and singularly, this is also a 
line of demarcation between the races that are 
supposed to have intermingled in the blood of 
the Frenchman of to-day. Now it has been 
sug gested by hi^h au thoritv that the rliffpr@a4i — ^ 
degrees oi moral susceptibility in this respect 



J 
1 



A STUDY IN MORALS. SS 



which w e discover in England to-day may be 
due to heredity; to the diff erent strains of Eng- 
lish blood, making themselves felt in individual 
comtutl u vCii gflcr a th ousa nd years ol uni ty as 
a tiSXAon. Sir George Graham, writing many 
years ago, first pointed out in a paragraph that 
I have never seen quoted, this singular corre- 
spondence. " Excluding London," he says, **it 
may be inferred that generally the unmarried 
women in the counties south of the Thames, 
comprising the descendants of the old Saxon 
population, have few illegitimate children ; 
Wales stands next in the scale ; the West Mid- 
land, the N.W, and the South- Midland coun- 
ties, covering the area of ancient Mercia, present 
less favourable results ; while in Yorkshire, the 
Northern counties and the North Midland coun- 
ties, covering the area of the ancient Danish 
population, the number of illegitimate children 
is excessively great. ^" 

This is undoubtedly a bold hypothesis. We 
are accustomed to think of English blood as 
homogeneous and intermingled by this time; 
and to expect to trace certain influences to 



* 14th Annual Report of the Registrar General, p. 13. 



^^m^mmmffgmKf^mmmmmm'^m^m^K'll^''^^^^^^^'''''^^''* ' "  ■■■W 



56 ILLEGITIMACY: 



Danish blood a dozen centuries after the Danish 
invasion seems improbable enough. I am by 
no means disposed to account for all the diver- 
gence between North and South England by 
this theory ; yet the hypothesis possesses one 
remarkable advantage : it explains phenomena 
otherwise inexplicable. 

Every student of English history is aware of 
the multitudinous origin of this English race : 
the Celt, the Roman, Angles, Jutes, Saxons, 
Danes, and Normans, each has stamped his 
impress on our features, or infused within our 
commingled blood some specialisation of cha- 
racter, some tendency towards virtue or vice. 
But granting this, it by no means follows that 
the commingling has been everywhere equal 
or uniform. For centuries, the great mass of 
the people in any locality must have been fixed 
to the soil by their poverty and occupation, 
almost as absolutely as the serfs of Russia 
before their emancipation. Travel was beyond 
their means, and the necessity for daily bread 
must have kept them steadily to their daily 
tasks. It seems very probable that the ad- 
mixture of race, upon which we lay so much 
stress, may indeed have been far less than we 



A STUDY IN MORALS. S7 

have supposed among the greater mass of 
the people. The working-class population of 
Norfolk or Yorkshire for example, may very 
probably have exceedingly little intermixture of 
the blood that pervades the Englishry of Corn-, 
wall or Somerset They differ, not merely in 
dialect — which tells its own story — but in an- 
cestry, in history ; and while some commingling 
of all races has undoubtedly occurred among 
the wealthier and more privileged classes, it has 
not been sufficient very greatly to disturb the 
inherent tendencies and characteristics of each 
particular tribe. 

But can these ancestral proclivities announce 
themselves in the conduct of to-day ? It is 
quite conceivable, I think, without any great 
violence to probability. Suppose, for instance, 
that a thousand years ago, upon part of the 
English coast — not then England — there de- 
scends a horde of piratical adventur ers. The y 
delight in olooa and wariare ; they toss the 
^^aplivt^ iiifmiljjiTo m spea ^ to ^p^^*^ they have 
0^ regard fnrr^p ntify indrrd they have little 
reverence for any religious constraints what- 
ever.^ They take possession of the land, en- 

<<Bede tells us how the Saxons fastened on Essex, 



■^■'--- 



58 ILLEGITIMACY: 

slave the conquered, and become gradually, 
after a few generations, fixed to the soil.* 

Now it is quite within bounds of possibility, 
that from the first conquest, bastardy may have 
been regarded among the people of such a tribe 
with much greater lenience than by another 
and more civilised tribe ; that the stigma should 
be less, and the chance of complete reparation 
of character by marriage be always more prob- 
able. Every neighbourhood of such a com- 
munity for generation after generation would 
contain a'cenSm largepffoportion of the illegiti- 



-•« '^^ 



Surrey, and Wessex ; how the Angles coming from Anglen 
(the true old England) founded the mighty kingdoms of 
East Anglia, Mercia, and North umbria. Fearful must have 
been the woes undergone by the Celts at the hands of the 
ruthless English heathen, men of blood and iron. The few 
Celtic words admitted to the right to English citizenship 
. . . seem to show that the Celtic women were kept as 
slaves, while their husbands, the old owners of the land, 
were slaughtered in heaps." — Oliphant's " Old and Middle 
English," p. 19. . ' 

* Mr. Green, in his "Conquest of England," tells of 
these warriors who " drove mothers to slavery, and tossed 
babes in grim sport from pike to pike." One of our con- 
querors, indeed, was specially nicknamed by his com- 
paiiions because he absolutely refused to join in the sport 
of tossing children on pikes. — Green's " Conquest of Eng- 
land," p. 55. 



^ 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 59 

mately bom ; laxity of morals, as we underst and 
the».*4^ase, becomes evidenced by freq uent 
events ; the custom is an inheritance of pro- 
clivity, and an example that is too common to 
detSnT Let this state of affairs go on for cen- 
turies, unnoticed by any comparison with other 
localities, now increased by wars and rebellions, 
now lessened a little, let us hope, by the pre- 
cepts and influence of the Church ; and when, 
after a thousand years, science through statistics 
looks at last at the very heart and life of a 
nation's morality, it might expect to discover in 
localities, subject for centuries to such influences, 
and among people of such an origin, an espe- 
cially high rate of illegitimate births. \ That 
something like this has happened is at least 
probable. One tribe of our common ancestors 
were pirates, and piracy was never provocative 
of domestic virtue. 

Quite as curious, and even more vivid in 
some' respects, is the picture which is presented 
by the statistics of Scotland for the last thirty- 
five years, and to which I have before referred. 
When the first detailed report of the Registrar 
General for the year 1855 was published, it 
appears at once to have attracted attention. 



6o ILLEGITIMACY: 



Certain counties of Scotland were found to pre- 
sent then a higher proportion of illegitimate 
births than in any part of France — Paris only 
excepted. They have maintained this singular 
pre-eminence ever since. Not only that, but 
this peculiar tendency toward loose and illicit 
relationships seems confined to certain counties 
and groups of counties — which we might almost 
call infected districts, so distinctly are they 
marked off from other sections of the country. 
Let us study one of them. 

The counties into which Scotland is sub- 
divided may be grouped together according to 
their geographical situation. One of these sec- 
tions, a little cluster of five counties in the 
Highlands, honoured by the residence of royalty 
and enlightened by a University, is known to 
the Registrar General as the North- Eastern Dis- 
trict. Rivalled only by the southern counties 
which border on England, this North- Eastern 
group stands above all other parts of Scotland 
for its ratio of illegitimate births. See, for 
instance, how uniformly this district has main- 
tained its peculiar prominence for many years, 
when compared with another group of counties 
lying side by side. 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 



6i 



Table XIII. — Scotland : Of each i,ooo Births, how 
MANY WER^ Illegitimate? 

















Ten Years- 




1857 


1858 


1867 


1868 


1877 


1878 


1876-1885. 


North-Eastern 












Counties . 


U5 


146 


MS 


153 


139 


139 


141 


North-Westem 
















Counties . 


57 


61 


61 


61 


65 


59 


64 



There was no country in Europe, which in 
1877 and 1878 exhibited the proportion of 
illegimate births prevailing in North-Eastern 
Scotland, with the sole exception of Austria, 
where the rate was 140 in the last-named year. 

If the reader cares to consult a map of Scot- 
land he will see no special reason why such 
differences should exist. The North- Western 
district is composed of Ross, Cromartie, and 
Inverness. The North-Eastern district com- 
prises the counties of Banff, Elgin, Nairn, 
Kincardine, and Aberdeen ; the five forming 
a promontory jutting out toward Scandinavia. 

Now why do these two sections differ, and 
differ so enormously ? Why does one locality 
persistently and regularly pay twice the tribute 
of bastardy of its neighbour, year after year. 



62 ILLEGITIMACY: 



decade after decade — possibly century after 
century ? 

It is not due to ignorance, for as recently as 
1878, it was found that in this North-Eastern 
division only 6 per cent, of the women who 
married were unable to write, while in the 
* North- Western ' region the females were so 
ignorant that only 38 per cent, of the whole 
number who married could sign their names. 
It is not due to poverty, for there was in no part 
of Scotland so small a percentage of the popula- 
tion living in cottages of a single room. It 
cannot be due to religion, for they both cherish 
the same stern faith of Calvin and Knox. It is 
not caused by any surplus of women, as some 
have suggested, for between the ages of fifteen 
to forty- five, there is a larger proportion of un- 
married females in other parts of Scotland 
where illegitimacy is far less. Nor is it due to 
any centralised predominance of vicious tend- 
ency in any one part of this promontory. On 
the contrary, the general proclivity seems to 
diffuse itself over the entire region with great 
evenness of distribution. Compare, for example, 
the rate of illegitimacy in the different counties 
of which this district is composed. 



^:r 



wmBmr^mt. — Jf 



■5rr" 



1 



A STUDY IN MORALS, 



63 



Table XIV. — ^To 1,000 Births in each of the fol- 
lowing Counties in North-Eastern Scotland, 
HOW many were Illegitimate? 



Scotland^ 
N.-E. District. 



Aberdeen 
Banff . . 
Elgin . . 
Nairn . . 
Kincardine 



Average of all the 
above 



1858. 



158 
160 

1x6 

89 
130 



146 



Average of 
Ten Years, 
1876-1885. 



137 
164 

153 
106 

"5 



141 



1886. 



142 
162 
149 
146 
123 



144 



1887. 



13s 

165 
149 

94 
124 



137 



1893- 



Little or no amelioration in its tendency 
toward illicit relationships has taken place in 
these counties since the facts were first dis- 
covered. One in seven, — that was its tribute 
to bastardy in 1858, and that tribute it pays 
to-day. [\t seem to me that the most plausible 
explanation of this remarkable local proclivity 
toward immorality is, that it is primarily due to 
ancestral tendencies, ^ coming, it may be, from 
pre -historic times. ' Probably the immediate 
and active cause to-day is the contagion of 
loose example, the near inheritance of unwise 
proclivity, j The subject of illegitimacy in Scot- 
land deserves a special study, occurring as it 




64 ILLEGITIMACY : 

does in a country distinguished above every 
other in Europe ^ by its zeal for orthodox 
belief. 

Evidence of hereditary proclivity in this 
respect is not wanting in other lands. The 
islands of the Pacific have for the most part 
become converted to Christianity; but travel- 
lers do not report the existence among the is- 
landers of any very rigid rules of chastity. ( \ The 
negro, transplanted from his native barlmrism 
to America, Christianized, educated, and given 
the rights and privileges of citizenship, retains 
as a race, it would seem, nearly all the vicious 
and lascivious propensities of his forefathers in 
the jungles of Africa. \ The rate of illegitimacy 
prevailing in the American capital is three 
times that of London ; but this is almost en- 
tirely due to the coloured population, j 

Where statistics are so absolutely wanting as 
in most parts of America it is not satisfactory 
to make deductions,^ yet the opinion of those 

1 Those interested in the geographical distribution of 
illegitimacy will find in the Appendix several tables of 
interest, not elsewhere to be found out of Official Reports. 

2 Writing in 1845, Sir G. Graham, the Registrar General, 
said : " The United States in respect to Statistics of health 



A STUDY IN MORALS, 65 



who have studied the condition of the Free 
South is decidedly unfavourable to the standard 
of female chastity which prevails among ^he 
coloured population throughout the Southern 
States, — even after nearly thirty years of eman- 
cipation and the rights of free citizenship. 
Everywhere the same story can be read, 
wherever different races are living under one 
flag. Sicilian and Lombard are Italians, Bre- 
ton and Norman are French, but there is some- 
far deeper than the bond of a common language, 
or a mutual attachment to the same form of 
government. ^Nlndeed I know of few studies 
of more absorfilng interest than the tracing 
out through the statistics of vice and crime, of 
insanity and suicided the workings of destiny 
through natural laws, and the influence of 
ancestral vices and virtues upon character and 
conduct in humanity to-day. ^ 
1 A few other points deserve passing mention, 

and human life is on nearly the same footing as Asia and 
Africa." This criticism is at present not quite fair ; for as 
regards Japan, there are better vital statistics obtainable 
to-day than for the United States of America, where the 
only record of vital statistics for the entire country is made 
but once in ten years. 

F 



i 
% 

* 

I 

L 



/ 



I- 



66 



\ 



ILLEGITIMACY : 



although they are of more interest to the 
student of moral pathology than to the general 
reader, j 

I. At what age are young women most apt 
to fall into relations which make illegitimate 
births possible f 

/Only two countries — Denmark and Sweden 
-Aafford any facilities for a scientific reply to 
this question. ^ It is unlikely that their experi- 
ence correspemds precisely with that of other 
nations ; and certainly the reply they afford is 
quite contrary to what we should expect. 

Table XV.— To i,ooo Unmarried Women at each 

PERIOD OF life, HOW MANY ILLEGITIMATE ChILD- 
BIRTHS PER YEAR? 





Age of the mothers at birth of the illegitimate children. 


Country. 


XS— 


ao — 

51 

26 

33 
39 


as— 

71 

41 

52 

58 


30— 

62 

39 

47 
47 


35— 

41 
29 

31 
33 


40- 

17 
13 

14 
15 


45- 

I 
I 

I 

I 


All ages together. 


Sweden. Towns 

,, Rural \ 

Districts/ 

Denmark. Towns^ 
., Rural ) 
Districts ) 


7 
3 

6 
6 


39 
19 

27 
29 



^ Exclusive of Copenhagen. 



It will be seen at once that, so far as Den- 



A STUDY IN MORALS, 



mark and Sweden are concerned, the greatest 
liability for such births b not early in the life of 
unmarried womanhood ; but between twenty- 
five and thirty-five years. J Even after the age 
of forty it is higher than unddr twenty ! But 
these figures are insufficient for any safe deduc- 
tions as regards other countries of Europe ; 
for while it is possible that elsewhere there 
obtains this same phenomenon of increased 
illegitimacy with increased age of women, we 
know nothing for certain. These figures are, 
perhaps, liable to misconstruction in another 
respect, for they include the illegitimate chil- 
dren of widows and unmarried women in middle 
life. What it would be very desirable to ascer- 
tain, is the age of girl-mothers when they give 
birth to the first illegitimate child. We should 
then know to what extent the greater evil 
exists ; but this information is not yet anywhere 
obtainable. 

2. From what class do they chiefly come ? 
J Here, too, the facts are very meagre, con- 
sisting of a single inquiry for a single year, in 
Scotland, j In 1883, the occupations of the 
10,010 motners of illegitimate children were by 
the Registrar General tabulated as follows : — 



68 ^ ILLEGITIMACY: 




■servants 4706 

y Girls working in factories . . . .2442 

/ „ „ on farms .... 985 

Seamstresses 607 

No occupation (chiefly daughters of work- 
ing men) 831 

Daughters of professional men ... 54 

No information (chiefly widows) . . 385 



10,010 



3. To what extent is concealment successful ? 
This is a question, of course, impossible to 
answer by statistics, since naturally they cannot 
account for what is obviously concealed. It 
seems to be the general impression among 
physicians, best qualiSfied to know, that, among 
classes able and willing to afford some expense 
[rather than undergo disgrace, absolute conceal- 
lent is of very ordinary occurrence. jThis, of 
:ourse, does not apply to the lowest strata of 
copulation, r* No one," says the author of 
John Halifax, Gentleman," ** can have taken 
iny interest in the working classes without 
being aware how frightfully common among 
them IS what they term * a misfortune ' ; how 
few young women come to the marriage altar 
at all ; or come just a week or two before 
maternity." But if this statement be true it 




A STUDY IN MORALS. 69 

must apply only to that lowest grade of society 
from whom the senses of shame has nearly 
departed. A little higher class of girls are 
pushed by their ** misfortune " to the streets, 
there to swell, at least for a time, the ranks of 
prostitution. In the upper middle classes of 
society, misfortunes of this kind are doubtless 
very rare in comparison with others ; but they 
are readily concealed : indeed, it is possible 
that the great majority of girl-mothers of 1 
middle ranks not merely hide their fall, 1 
ultimately marry persons who have no idea of ' 
their previous misstep.\The character of Lady 
Dedlock is not unknown outside the pages of 
fiction. JEven Lord Nelson carried to his 
grave the delusion that the mother of his 
*' little Horatia " had borne no other children ; 
and Sir William Hamilton died believing in 

le fidelity of his wife. 

The evils resulting from illegitimacy as c^ 
pnase of the social problem are for the most \ 
part evident enough. Perhaps it may be \ 
doubted whether in Christian lands the un- \ 
happiness it occasions can be equalled by any j 
other deviation from rectitude, 'Far more 1 
serious than disgrace is that saddest crime of 



70 



ILLEGITIMACY : 



humanity, the infanticide to which it so often 
leads. It is only now and then that the veil is 
drawn, and we get full glimpses of the truth ; 
but everywhere we are confronted with the 
facts that, even in Christian England, the chance 
of living for the ^legitimate child is far less 
than for others, jk In 1875 the Registrar 
General pointed out that while the death rate 
of legitimate children during the first year of 
life was about 205 per thousand, that of illegiti- 
mate was more than twice as great, or 418 per 
thousand births. Some of the worst discre- 



Table XVI. — To 1,000 Infants Born of each Class, 
HOW MANY Died under One Year? (1875). 



« 

Towns. 


Legitimate. 


Illegitimate. 


Preston 

Liverpool 

Nottingham .... 

Radford 

Driffield 


214 
205 

187 
168 


448 
418 

365 

547 
596 



Note. — " During a long series of years it was found, in 
one part of Copenhagen (Denmark), that of illegitimate 
children, 45 per cent, of the boys, and 40 per cent, of 
girls, died before the age of one year, while the correspond- 
ing numbers for legitimate children were 20 and i8. — Dr. 
Sorensen, " Infant Mortality in Denmark." 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 71 

pancies between the chances for Hfe of the two 
classes, are seen in the foregoing table. 

Even in rural districts where the general 
mortality among infants was low, the same 
wide divergence was found between the two 
classes. In twelve districts with a specially 
low rate it was found that the proportion of 
children dying during the first year of infancy 
was 97 per thousand for legitimate, and 293 
per thousand for the illegitimate. Even in 
Stratford-upon-Avon, the death rate for the one 
class was but 69 ^ per thousand, against a rate 
of 239 per thousand for children of unmarried 
mothers ! In Glasgow, observations extending 
over three years (1873-75) show that while the 
mortality of legitimate children fluctuated be- 
tween 149 and 154 per thousand, under one 
year of age, the corresponding mortality of the 
illegitimate was between 277 and 293 per 
tjjpusand, or nearly twice as much. 

iHow much of this mortality is due to de- \ 
liberation and design ? How much to that \ 
criminal indifference and neglect which eludes \ 
detection and escapes punishment ? We have 1 
it on high authority that in civilized England / 
there are parents who will suffer their legitimate y 



72 



ILLEGITIMACY I 



children to be starved to death for the sake of 
a few shillings insurance head-money. What 
chance then has the babe to live who, never 
welcome, was put out to a professional baby- 
farmer ? - Hardly a month goes by without 
some awful story of this , kind coming to 
light ; and yet how many of these baby- 
murderers escape detection, and go on with 
their work ! Coroners are justly suspicious of 
those frequent ** accidents" to, which these 
unfortunate and unwelcome infants seem so 
singularly liable. From the Judicial Reports 
of England and Wales I have extracted the 
number of coroners inquests held during six 
years, simply upon illegitimate chrldren under 
one year of age. 





1882. 

482 
428 


1883. 

498 
449 


1884. 


1885. 


1886. 

541 
534 


1887. 

555 
488 

1043 


Total Six Yean*. 


Boys . . . 

Girls . . . 


560 
481 


583 
438 


3219 
2818 


Both sexes . 


910 


947 


1041 


102 1 


1075 


6037 



These figures are sad enough when we kncrtv 
what they mean. What is the nature of these 
** accidents " ? The Registrar General tells us 



A STUDY JN MORALS. 73 

how these children die. The y are suffocated, 
drownedTpoisoned, strangled, scalded, burned 
aHve. Yet these, perhaps, are more merciful 
exits than the induced disease, the slow starva- 
tion, the prolonged agony which many must 
undergo before finally released. Of these 
deaths by " misadventure," Dr. Acton says 
that the great majority^ we are justified in as- 
suming, ** were the illegitimate offspring of first 
falls from virtue. The hopeless difficulty of 
rearing her offspring, the maddening misery and 
want, have, in most of these cases, caused the 
mother to raise her hand acjainst the life she has 
given." J This was written before complete sta- 
tistics were available ; but although we now see 
that the majority of coroner s inquests are not 
held upon illegitimate children, yet, in proportion 
to their number living, these are every year more 
than four times as liable to " accidents " as their 
legitimale kindred. Is there any explanation 
or reason for this ? One, only. These are not 
all accidents. They are u ndetected and un- 
punished murders of u n welcome guests at the 
fe\st of life. 

Nevertheless, regarding illegitimacy for a 
moment as a phase of social phenomena, but 





,^ 



ILLEGITIMACY: 



quite independently of its ethical relations, is it 
possible to discover in it any effect for good ? 
I think we must admit, so considering it, that 
like other forms of generally deleterious action, 
such as War and Pain, even in this way, at the 
cost of individual happiness. Nature sometimes 
accomplishes a gain for humanity at large. It 
tends for one thing to level upward the human 
race. In the vast majority of cases of illegiti- 
macy, the mother is the inferior of the two 
parents, not merely in social rank, but often in 
that fineness of mental and physical organiza- 
tion which results from better conditioned lines 
f ancestry. J Thus, when two races are brought 
after the violence of conquest into relations 
with each other, and begin, the conquerors and 
the conquered, to blend into a single nationality, 
it is rather concubinage than marriage which 
breaks down the first barriers of prejudice. 
VThe tendency of legal unions is almost always 
\ipon a plane of equality ; Cinderella we find 
in the fairy tales for children, but in real life it 
is Emma Lyons and Nelly Gwynn whom for 
the most part history shows us in her place. 
V Of that fusion of Celt and Roman, Saxon, 
vDane, and Norman into the English people. 



i 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 75 

how much was due at the outset to relations \ 
unsanctioned by Church or State ? Why, evep^J 
within the present generation we were told oy 
Sir George Graham, the late Registrar General, 
that " if the mortality were not greater among 
illegitimate than among legitimate children, 
every fifteenth person in England must be of 
illegitimate extraction."^ But this is merely 
the story of to-day. Begin to trace ancestry . 
backward, and it is probable that in one branch 
or another, the bar-sinister would be found 
somewhere in the ancestral pedigree by more 
than half the general population of Great 
Britain, and by three-fourths of its aristocracy, 
before one reaches the period of the Reforma- 
tion. Now so far as the English stock is 
improved in physical and mental calibre by 
infusion of better blood, just so far some benefit 
accrues to the race, even though it be at the 
cost o\ individual happiness and honour. 

Everywhere the same phenomena are to be 
seen. In certain parts of America the abo- 
riginal tribes are disappearing — not always by 
fire and sword, but through absorption into the 

^ Sixth x\nniial Report of Registrar General, p. 38. 



76 ILLEGITIMACY: 



conquering race ; and in more than one Ameri- 
can to-day, the blood of the Mayflower Puritans 
runs, in commingled currents, with that of the 
aboriginal tribes they dispossessed. One can- 
not travel through the States without noting 
that the thick lips, coal-black colour, low brow, 
and flat nose of the Guinea negro have almost 
disappeared in a hybrid race, with large ad- 
mixture of English blood— changing not only 
the colour, but the intellectual capacity of the 
type ; and I do not doubt that before half-a- 
dozen centuries have expired, the African will 
have as completely merged his race in the 
three hundred millions of the North American 
Continent, as Phenician and Greek, Saracen, 
Roman and Norman have blended in the 
Neapolitan who basks in the sunshine on San 
Lucia. The New Zealand traveller a thousand 
years hence, who from his reverie above the 
ruins of London Bridge turns his step home- 
ward through the Gulf States of America, will 
find no negroes ; but the labouring class of the 
population, the hewers of wood and the drawers 
of water, will no doubt show a warmer tint 
than obtains in what now is Canada and the 
Northern States. Yet I question whether this 



t 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 17 

tawny population will more widely differ from 
the general mass, than the Sicilian or Calabrian 
differ from the nations of Lombardy, or th6 
type of Grenada from that of Castile. Of 
course the greater part of this change is hence- 
forth to be effected by lawful marriage, but the 
barriers between races are at first otherwise 
broken down; and this was no exception. The 
United States minister to Hayti is the son of a 
slaveholder and his slave.^ 
\ Nor can we deny the gain to humanity which 
here and there nature grants in individual cases, 

^ At the International Congress of Hygiene and Demo- 
graphy held in London in August, 1891, Dr. Carlsen of 
Copenhagen presented a pamphlet showing certain statistical 
investigations concerning the idiots and feeble-minded 
portion of the Danish population. 

" The illegitimate imbecile children amounted to 5 per 
cent, of the total number of imbeciles, while about 10 per 
cent, of all births have been illegitimate in Denmark during 
a long period of time. As it is probable that the number 
of the imbeciles overlooked or forgotten in the counting 
is larger within the class of legitimate than within that of 
illegitimate children, we incline to the supposition (even if 
proper attention is paid to the fact of the greater rate of mor- 
tality for illegitimate children) that imbecility is scarcer atnong 
illegitimate than among legitimate children ; which accords 
very well with the fact, that the more malignant forms of im- 
becility occur less frequently among the illegitimate children. *' 



78 



ILLEGITIMACY: 




while Still exacting her tribute of personal 
suffering. The world could ill spare all upon 
h^ accident of whose birth it puts a social 
gma. Some of the greatest soldiers and 
venturers of ancient and modern times, from 
illiam the Conqueror of England to Pizarro 
e Conqueror of Peru ; from Marechal de Saxe 
General Burgoyne — not to speak of a greater 
an them all, in our own time — might have 
)orne the bar sinister upon their escutcheon. 
The most brilliant name in French journalism 
or forty years, Emile de Girardin, gained his 
position in literature by his genius, despite an 
openly acknowledged illegitimate origin. There 
died in France a few years ago an ecclesiastic 
than whom few more eloquent or far-sighted 
has the nation ever known ; upon whom the 
Church conferred its highest honour, whom the 
French Academy raised to a seat among its 
Immortals ; yet the Bishop of Orleans was the 
son of a maid-servant at a Swiss inn,'" and knew 
no father. Who that visits Washington, the 
American capital, suspects that the only 
National Museum of the great Republic, the 
" Smithsonian Institution," founded ** for the in- 
crease and diffusion of knowledge among men," 






w 



\ 



A STUDY IN MORALS. V^' 



> 



^ was the generous gift, more than half a century ^ 
ago, to a nation then insignificant in numbers, 

r from the natural son of an English duke? 
When, a century ago, the American colonies 
had emerged from their conflict with the 
mother-country, it was chiefly the genius of one 
man who laid the foundation of that federal 
system, which, by a written constitution, 
moulded these discordant and petty States into 
the potentiality of a mighty nation ; but 
Alex ander Hamilto n was of illegitimate birth, 
the son of a Scotch planter in the West Indies. 
One of the two greatest names in modern 
American history confessed his belief that 
whatever talent he possessed came to him 
through a parent whose birth was illegitimate. 
Philosophy, profiting by the studies of^ 
bert, one of the keenest mathematicians and 
most brilliant writers of the last century, does 
not identify the philosopher, honoured by the 

ji. courts of Catherine II. and Frederic the Great, 
and by the Vatican itself, with a poor foundling 

^ picked up in the gutters of Paris. Literature 
forgets the stain of ignoble origin in Boccaccio, 
the father of Italian prose ; in Erasmus of 



Rotterdam, the greatest name in the history of 



\ 



\ 



N 



^ ILLEGITIMACY: 



/ 



/ 



the Renaissance ; in George Sand, great grand- 
child of Maurice de Saxe, himself the natural 
son to Augustus, King of Saxony, or in 
AlexandeTjDumas of to-day, illegitimate son of 
a still more renowned father, who was grandson 
of a French marquis and a slave-woman of San 
Domingo. Who that stands in the refectory 
of the Dominican Convent at Milan before the 
fading outlines of that matchless masterpiece — 
The Last Supper — remembers the story of 
Leonard o^ di V inci's birth ? Who that reads 
the story of Pharez connects him with the 
history of David ? 

What of prevention ? Here is a social 
evit'^^TOWfngHJnPTfMSxity of life, but it is 
an evil of which the heaviest penalty falls upon 
those least to blame. Som ething indee d jmay 
be hopedjfr^^^ 
influences, and the inculcat ion of ..a greater 

sense _of responsibili ty, or by modification of 

1 J ^ I'll* 1 .'""I  \ '  '«^ 

K laws ;^M^ /^»io^r.rv»e ''^hT|/>|^ Hp..^^^]y qj- mjuHously 

* ^mnlKer early marriages. Unfortunately, the 
truth is, that everything which makes for early 
and improvident marriages tends to repress 
illegitimacy ; while all prudential restraints, 
whether imposed by law or custom, tend toSts 



i 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 8l 

increase. One good thing is certain, that in 
England there has been a steady fall, in the 
rate of illegitimacy since the year 1845. In 
that year the rate was 70 per thousand births. 
In 1889 the proportion was 46. 
^ Is it not possible to ameliorate in some 
measure the awfiil evils which spring from it ? 
Without in any degree lessening for young men 
the obligation to chaste and sober lives, might 
it not be possible to suggest also the truth that 
paternity, rvrn^iiiitiid^ thn InWj nrnitrn rintiri "^ 
which no honourable man will ever seek to 



■>MM> m sMB 



evade ? For no child meets with death from 
the hands of her whose breast should have 
been its safest refuge, or, abandoned to its 
fate, is slowly tortured out of existence in the 
filthy attic of a " baby-farm," except from the 
neglected secondary duty of some man. \ The 
performance of such parental obligations may 
not indeed atone for the primary fault ; but 
that fault is infinitely increased by its neglect 
It ne eds to be affirme d that honour creates 
responsibilities which the l aw may not enfor ce ; 
tharpafentage implies duty ; that the natural 
right 0/ Illegitimate lAfailfcy to paternal support 
depends in no way upon legal claims or good- 



f- 



82 ILLEGITIMA C V 

natured generosity, but upon the foundation 
principles of justice and right 

And finally it seems to me v ery questionable 
whether th at essentiji^llv tpmininy~ 
whj gh affixes i ipnn ilkgritiimfttti mnthrrhnnd of a 
young girl the^stigm-t of irreparable infamy, 
does not, in the majority of cases, accomplish 
more evil than g[ood. It may be w6ll to teach 
innocence the exceeding sinfulness of sin ; yet 
even here there is a tendency to evil con- 
sequences just so far as we overstep exact 
truth. To assert that by maternity out of 
marriage, the character an3 nature of a young 
girl is infected with pollution ; that if a house- 
maid she is henceforth unfit to care for children, 
and for the sake of example and in the name of 
Virtue, should be turned forthwith, and without 
warning, upon the streets, as the pitiless law of 
England to-day permits, — this is not merely 
false, but the underlying sentiment that inspires 
such action is both inexpedient and unjust. Is 
it maternity tha t^deatr e ya 4b#pwgky of ■wx:unan- 
hood, or the lapse which precedes maternity ? 
For one, I refuse to believe that we ever can 
make virtue seem more lovely by the merciless 
punishment of that consequence, which alone 



i 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 83 

more than half condones the sin. ' I very 
seriously question whether every seventh 
mother in some counties of Scotland is worthy 
of that stigma of dishonour which belongs to 
her only who sells herself for hire. 

Nor is it expedient, because whenever the 
extreme penalty of ostracism is mercilessly 
inflicted, we create a yet greater evil than the 
one it is sought to condemn. Between that 
first child of the young ccm^nytQ?;_^rl^.an those 
'^depths of sin, to which the painted hetaire 
of the pavement has fallen, is an alm ost i m- 
measuraBleabyss. Yet it needs but a step to 
reach that lower level ; a step over a precipice. 
That Christian woman who, deaf to all en- 
treaty, turns her maid into the streets because 
about to become a mother, may fancy she is 
only upholding the dignity of virtue ; but she 
is also opening to her sister woman the gates 
of hell. She has created that despair which 
pushes its victims into a chasm, wherein 
thousands of her sisters annually fall. Prosti* 
tution is the final resource, of illfigxtimate xuater- . 
nity ; and more than one Fantine sells her soul 
on the streets of London to l^eep her child 
alive. 



** *'>'<*^<MMMM«MMNM 



1 



84 ILLEGITIMACY : 

But even this is not the lowest depth. She 
who pushes her sister towards despair helps to 
create in ker soul the temptation to escape an 
ig nomTiiy by infar itifi^^ Wif^ Ar. n/^i-^ri/^^Tr tVi^ ] 

genius of Scott, of Goethe, of George Eliot to 
tell us that in our Christian civilization a 
mother can do, what the old Hebrew thought 
almost impossible, " forget her sucking child." 
Even the criminal records give us but a hint of 
the awful evil that in reality exists. I There is 

nr> f^an^^r mr^yp tf>rribU tl^^Q tViJg ; for in the 

soul of a woman w Vny has l^ct th^ fnctjjipi- ni 
maternal love there is i ndeed a ru in beyond 
repair. \ -•*^* 

\ I hope it may not be wholly an idle dream 
that, at some period in the development of 
Christian charity and civilization, a point may 
be reached where she who is about to become 
a mother of an unwelcome child, because she 
truste d too faitl^fully and loved too well> will 
find'somewhere a sure refuge ; meeting there 
neither a blind sympathy that hastens too 
quickly to condone, nor yet an unpitying virtue 
that scorns forgiveness and invites to despair. 
In her sad extremity, perchance then she may 
be encouraged by woman s heart and helped 



A STUDY IN MORALS. 85 

by womanly hands not to evade the responsi- 
bilities of motherhood, but to meet them so 
bravely, to fulfil them so conscientiously, that^ 
in time even the stain of her dishonour shall 
fade away, and her transgressions, through duty 
well performed, find forgiveness and expiation. 




I. Illegitimacy tS & phase of social pheno- 
mena produced by the conjoint ap tion of several 
causes. Its variance in different localities 
depends upon the force and number of the 
factors there present. 

1 1 . TVjf^c^ ^"""Sf ^'%;r ^" f^n#>rp-y ; they 

sometimes neutralize each other ; but on the 
whole, with certain exceptions, hereafter noted, 
the rate of illegitimacy fairly expresses their 
effect upon the private sentiment of the com- 
munity concerned. 

III. In all sections of the United Kingdom' 
it is chiefly prevalent where thrift and pros- 
perity are most general, and is least in that 
country where poverty is the ordinary condi- 
tion of the mass of the people. 

IV. In Great Britain it seems to i5ryVail least 



86 ILLEGITIMACY: 

a mong the popu l'^tinn ^^ /-i^-t^e and chiefly in 
ru ral commun ities, 

V. Among the nations of Europe it is most 
commoa jjfyhUl'c eleme ntary education is most 
generally diffused ; and least among some of 
the most illiterate communities, as in Brittany 
and Ireland. 

VI. It is probably increased by any restraint 
on early marriage, whether imposed by law, 
or custom, or arising from severe industrial 
depression. 

VII. The influence of religion is one of the 
most powerful agencies against unchastity ; but 
the effect upon illegitimacy of a religious creed 
apparently has no relation to its dogmatic 
truth. 

VIII. Differences in the annual prevalence 
of illegitimacy in different localities or sections 
of the same country are so marked, and so per- 
sistent, that only by the hypothesis of heredi- 
tary influence can we at present account for 
them. 

IX. As a means for testing the comparative 
sensitiveness of different people to moral laws, 
the rate of illegitimacy can Only serve tvhen the 
totality of general environment is similar, as 



A STUDY IN MORALS. Z7 



between cities or communities under the same 
general government. We cannot always infer 
the existence of a higher tone of morals from a 
low rate of illegitimate births (i) in countries 
where ante-natal destruction of life largely 
prevails ; (2) in countries where young women 
are specially guarded before marriage, yet 
wherein marital fidelity may be less observed ; 
(3) in countries wherein polyandry is alleged to 
exist as an acknowledged custom ; or (4) in 
great cities where other vices counteract ten- 
dency to this, and where opportunities for con- 
cealment are far greater than in country 
districts. 

X. While the rate of illegitimacy is widely 
different in each of the three divisions of the 
United Kingdom, it is evident that in_ each it 
has been slowly declining for many years. It 
appears also to be decreasing in frequency in. 
the greater part of Europe, at least when 
measured by the rate prevalent twenty years 
ago. 



THE INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 
UPON CONDUCT. 



In the *• Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff," that 
book without a parallel, that " exhibition of an 
imposing tapestry in reverse," as Mr. Gladstone 
has so aptly called it, there occurs a passage 
wherein the young girl-artist attempts to de- 
scribe her ideal of a painting, upon which she 
was unconsciously putting the last enthusiastic 
labour of her fading, life. It was an endeavour, 
as her biographer tells us, 'to express the in- 
most spirit of Springtime by line and colour; 
all that mysterious fermentation which accom- 
panies the reviving year. "I go to Sevres 
every day ; this picture possesses me," she 
writes in her journal. " The apple-tree is in 
blossom ; the leaves beginning to come out, 
there are violets in the grass. The air is 
balmy, and the girl who dreams, leaning against 
the tree, is * languishing and intoxicated.* . . . 



88 



SEASONS AND CONDUCT. 89 

It would be fine if I succeeded in rendering 
the effect of sap in the spring ! . . . I want 
a real big goose of a girl, who dreams, over- 
come by the heat, and who will yield to the 
first peasant who chances to go by/' 

If there is in this passage a realism of ex- 
pression a little foreign to our general usage, 
it betrays notwithstanding that curious gift of 
insight within the very heart of Nature, which 
Marie Bashkirtseff possessed. For she touched 
here a mystery of profound significance. ' Art 
and poetry have long affirmed the emotional 
tendencies which accompany the budding year : 
we know by heart Tennyson's oft-quoted lines. 
Now beyond fanciful but vague sentiment, is it 
possible to penetrate to the truth, and to dis- 
cover in so distant and abstract a circumstance 
as the season of the year, any periodical and 
distinct incitement toward human actions } 
One is inclined, at first thought, to relegate such 
an inquiry to other ages, when planets decided 
destiny, and the stars in their courses fought 
against Sisera. But this question to-day com- 
mands somewhat greater respect than is due 
the dreams of astrology. I It is a scientific 
problem, because facts are observed, which are 



90 SEASONS AND CONDUCT. 

explicable on no other hypothesis than a dis- 
turbance of equilibrium, so to speak, which so 
regularly recurs, year after year, as to denote 
the activity of some law of causation. \ 

It is not a new theory, though I propose 
to carry it somewhat further than it has been 
pushed hitherto. Over half a century ago, 
Quetelet in his great work " On Man," sug- 
gested the hypothesis, although he deplored 
the want of statistical evidence which alone 
hindered verification of strong probabilities. 
To-day we are far better situated, so far as 
concerns opportunity for the observation of 
phenomena of human action in abnormal 
directions. (The hypothesis toward which all 
the facts point is simply this ; (that upon the 
nervous organization of human bodies (perhaps 
specially upon dwellers in the temperate zones) 
there is exerted during the procession* of the 
seasons, from winters close till midsummer, 
some undefined, specific influence, which in some 
manner tends to increase the excitability of 
emotion and passion, and thus also to increase 
all actions arising therefrom. iH How this is 
accomplished is another problem, of which 
more hereafter. Naturally too, we can see but 



7 ' 



SEASONS AND CONDUCT. 91 

a very limited portion of the field of human 
conduct ; for only those actions which are so 
serious as to call for legal or medical investi- 
gation can be subject to scientific observa- 
tion. If, however, there be any truth in the 
hypothesis we should expect these when studied 
en masse to be uniformly more frequent at 
certain periods of the year than at others. Are 
they ? What are the facts ? 

There are six phases of human conduct 
in regard to which I believe the action of 
this cosmic force may be recognised. These 
are : — 

I. Suicide, accomplished or attempted. 
11. Crimes agrainst Persons. 

III. Murder and Homicidal Assaults. 

IV. Crimes against Chastity. 
V. Attacks of Insanity. 

VI. Births, especially the illegitimate births. 

Besides these there are one or two others, 
upon which some light glimmers, but as yet 
not clearly. 

I. Suicide, — Whether or not we assume self- 
destruction as the evidence of unsound mind, 
it is certain that nearly always it results from a 
temporarily distorted estimate of the value of 



92 SEASONS AND CONDUCT. 

further existence. A man may apparently be 
sane enough on every other topic ; it is only 
about himself or some conditions of personal 
environment that his ideas are unbalanced. 

For a long time, suicide was supposed to 
find its culmination of frequency, particularly in 
England, at that season of gloom when poverty 
and distress are most keenly felt. But this 
notion has been ruthlessly swept away by the 
evidence of statistics. Nothing apparently is 
more clearly proven than that the tendency to 
suicide in every country in Europe regularly 
increases . from the end of winter until July, 
and then slowly declines. Morselli has shown 
that the point of greatest aptitude toward 
suicide during the periods observed was 
reached, for Ireland, Saxony, Austria, Sweden, 
and Holland in May ; for France, Italy, Russia, 
Norway, Belgium, and Denmark, in June ; and 
for Switzerland and one or two divisions of 
the German Empire as late even as July. For 
the majority of dwellers in Europe the greatest 
extreme of tendency towards suicide will, I 
think, some day be discovered to be a period 
of about five weeks in May and June. ;On the 
other hand, without exception, that period of 



SEASONS AND CONDUCT. 



93 



the year when the suicidal impulse is least felt 
occurs during winter when cold, hunger, and 
destitution are generally most severely felt. / 

We may see the facts clearly, if we divide 
the year into two parts and calculate the pro- 
portion of suicides which in different countries 
occur in each half year ; and this I have done 
in the final table. 

But the operation of this law is not confined 
to Europe alone ; and in the statistics of the 
extreme Orient, I have recently found a re- 
markable coincidence of the same phenomenon. 

Table I.— Proportion of Suicides in each Season of the 
Year to the total Number. — ^Japanese Empire. 



Seasons. 


1882. 


1883. 


1884. 


1885. 


Average 
4 years. 


Spring — March, April, 

May 

Summer — June, July, 

August 

Autumn — September, 

October, November . 
Winter — December, 

January, February . 


28 

23 

19 


28 
29 
22 
21 


27 
29 
22 
22 


27 

23 
18 


27-4 

30 
22*6 

20 


Total Year 


100 


TOO 


100 


100 


100 



94 SEASONS AND CONDUCT. 

If we take the suicides of the Japanese Empire 
for several successive years, it will be found 
that they recur in each season of the year in , 
almost the same proportion as in Western 
Europe. 

Thus, year after year, in Eastern Asia, be- 
tween 57 and 59 per cent, of all suicides occur- 
in the two seasons between the ist of March 
and the last of August. 

How is it with ourselves ? Unfortunately 
the data furnished by the Registrar General, 
except for London, tell us nothing of the season 
of suicide in England and Wales. It so hap- ' 
pens, however, that some knowledge is obtain- 
able from another quarter. When the would-be 
suicide fails in the attempt at self-destruction 
the act becomes a crime to be noted by the 
Police, and accounted for in the Judicial Re- 
ports, where criminal returns are made for each 
quarter of the year. These cases of attempted 
suicide, numbering about a thousand a year 
(10,733 for ten years, 1878-87), probably re- 
present only a small part of those which ac-* 
tually occur ; since of course in a private family 
of means, the act would be treated by physicians 
and friends as merely an incident to the delirium • 



SEASONS AND CONDUCT. 



95 



of a disordered mind. It is different, however, 
when a girl flings herself over London Bridge, 
or a man shoots himself in Whitechapel. Now 
if we divide the last ten years for which the 
Judicial Reports afford the facts, into three 
periods, we shall see how exactly the intensity 
of suicide-tendency in this country agrees with 
the accession of spring and summer, and 
how uniformly it decreases during the colder 
seasons. 

Table II. — Of Attempts at Suicide in England and Wales 
DURING Ten Years, what per cent, occurred during 
each quarter of the year ? 



Quarters of the Year. 


1878-1880. 


1881-1883. 


1884-1887. 


Average for 
10 years. 


April, May, June . 
July, Aug., Sep. . 
Oct., Nov., Dec. 
Jan., Feb., March. . 


28 
32 

21 

19 


29 

30 

22 

19 


29 
32 

19 

20 


28*8 

31*6 

20-3 

19*3 




100 


100 


100 


1000 



In England and Wales, therefore, fully sixty 
per cent of all attempts at suicide occur during 
the warmer seasons, and forty per cent, during 
autumn and winter. See how closely these 
proportions agree with those of Japan ! 



1 

4 



96 SEASONS AND CONDUCT, 



For the metropolis we are able to get nearer 
to the truth regarding the act of suicide itself. 
In a paper read before the Royal Statistical 
Society in February i886, Dr. W. Ogle has 
calculated the average monthly distribution of 
all suicides in London during a period of 
twenty years, 1 865-1 884. In each thousand 
cases of self-destruction annually occurring the 
proportion for each season is found to be as 

« 

follows*: — 

Spring: March, April, May 278 |^ * 

Summer : June, July, August 282)^^ 

Autumn : September, October, November 226 

Winter : December, January, February 214 



}44% 



1000 



Notwithstanding the fact that distress among 
the London poor is far greater in winter than 
at any other season, — suicide then is least 
prevalent, and most frequent in May and June. 

Does this suicidal tendency manifest itself 
uniformly year after year } It does. If we 
construct a diagram from the exact numbers 
of attempts at suicide in England, during each 
quarter, extending it over a continuous period 
of several years, we can clearly see how this 
wave of impulse sweeps over us. 



SEASOA'S AAJ3 CONDUCT. 



is 

5 •< 



is! 

s I i 
s r- 

III 

IJ 



98 INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 

Looking at such a diagram, the physician can 
hardly fail to note its resemblance to the trac- 
ing of a pulse, or the rise and fall of tempera- 
ture during progress of a fever. It may be 
that such resemblance is even ' more than a 
fancy, and that suicide thus marks in truth the 
variations of the fever of life. At all events 
there can be no doubt whatever of the periodi- 
city of change, regularly coincident with ,the < 
advent of the opening year. Everywhere in i 

northern climes the number of voluntary deaths 

> 

steadily increases from the beginning of the 
year until May, June, or July, and then as 
regularly and uniformly declines. 

II. Insanity. — Why is it that at certain and 
fixed periods in the cycle of the year, a sort of 
tidal wave of mental aberration regularly sweeps 
over civilized mankind? Wherever the facts are 
investigated it is found that with the advent of 
spring, and extending into the summer, there ' 
is invariably an increase in lunacy. For a long 
time it has been noted by those in medical 
charge of asylums for the insane, that as spring 
advances an increase in excitement, a peculiar 
mental restlessness, seems to affect the patients ; 
but facts of this nature have not thus far as- 



UPON CONDUCT. 99 



sumed any statistical expression. In the ad- 
mission of patients attacked with insanity to 
asylums and retreats, we are face to face with 
evidence upon which we can depend. 

This phenomenal increase of mental excite- 
ment or depression has also been noted for many 
years. Quetelet refers to the admissions into 
the great Insane Asylum at Charenton near 
Paris, of which 54 per cent, were received 
between the ist of March and the ist of Sep- 
tember. Drs. Bucknill and Tuke quote similar 
figures (but without date) which by calculation 
produce the same proportion, and show that 54 
per cent, of admissions to asylums occur during 
the warmer months. But I have more recent 
evidence. In the last report of Dr. Ritti, the 
physician in charge of the female wards at 
Charenton, he gives the number of admissions 
for the years from 1879 ^^ 1888. Of these 53 
per cent, are during the period between March 
and August, and, 47 per cent, between Septem- 
ber and the following February. " During 
the last ten years," writes Dr. Ritti, "it is in 
spring-time that the admissions have become 
the most numerous ; they have slightly di- 
minished during summer, and reached their 






■J J 



J 



"•s-* . 



o INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 

inimutn during the last months of the 
;ar." 

But by far the most complete and mteresting 
" recent statistics on this subject that I have 
;en able to find, are contained in the Lunacy 
.eports of Scotland. Here for two different 
sriods, of not less than eighteen years alto- 
sther, the admission to asylums may be seen 
)r each month ; and as the total number of 
le insane thus accounted for is over 38,000, 
le averages thus obtained undoubtedly re- 
resent, with exceptional accuracy, the working 
r the law. And every year the story is sub- 
antially the same. Commencing about the 
Lonth of March, the number of admissions to 
:treats and asylums begins to rise above the 
/erage of the year, and gradually attaining 
5 maximum during the early part of the 
immer, falls below the average in September, 
id remains below during the autumn and 
inter, only to rise again with the advent of 
le season of fertilization. 

In other words, certain forms of insanity are 
jincident with the impulse to suicide, subject 
ike to an increasing prevalence with the 
jming of spring. 



UPON CONDUCT. 



lOI 



Table III. — Of each i,ooo Admissions to Insane 
Asylums in Scotland during the periods 
named, how many occurred during different 
Seasons ? 



1 


Men. 


Women. 


Seasons. 


1865-74 
10 years. 


1880-87 
8 years. 


1865-74 
10 years. 


1880-87 

8 years. 


Spring and 
Summer. 

Autumn and 
Winter. 


527 
473 


529 

471 


533 
467 


538 

462 


Total being 


1,000 


1,000 


1,000 


1,000 



Both sexes are apparently susceptible to this 
mysterious influence, although in slightly differ- 
ent proportions. ^ But whether for men or for 
women, for one period or another, or for single 
years, about 53 per cent, of all persons attacked 
with insanity in Scotland are- admitted to 
asylums and retreats during the six months 
following the ist of March. There can be no 
dispute about facts so susceptible of proof, so 
recurrent every year. The precise figures for 



I02 INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 

each month of the year will be found of interest 
to the student, and are given elsewhere.^ 

The remarkable correspondence between the 
varying proclivity to attacks of insanity and 
the tendency towards self-destruction has not 
failed to attract notice. 

If upon the same scale we trace a diagram 
which for successive months shall indicate the 
proportionate percentage of attacks of insanity, 
almost exactly the same curve will be taken by 
suicide, except that the influence of spring is 
far more intense toward self-destruction. In re- 
gularity of course upward till midsummer, and 
downward during the remainder of the year, 
the line of perturbation is almost exactly the 
same. Both are nearly at their lowest degree 
of frequency when the year begins ; both rise 
with advancing spring ; both culminate at 
the same period, and decline with the dying 
year. This coincidence has led some writers 
to insist on the greater frequency of suicide in 
summer by reason of its relation to mental 
disease. The hypothesis is a plausible one ; 
some connection undoubtedly exists between 

* See Table in Appendix. 



UPON CONDUCT, 



103 



them, but I question whether it be that of 
cause and effect. It so happens, as MorselH 
has pointed out, that whenever a distinction is 
made between cases of self-destruction occurring 
during an insane attack, and those due to other 
causes, precisely the same phenomenon is seen in 
both instances ; the highest rate of frequency is 
found in spring and summer. 

Table IV. — Of Suicides due to Madness or to other 

CAUSES, WHAT PROPORTION OCCURRED DURING EACH 
HALF-YEAR ? 





Suicides due to Insanity. 


Suicides due to other causes. 




Italy. 


France. 


Belgium. 


Italy. 


France. Belgium. 


Spring and Summer . 
Autumn and Winter . 


64*4 

35-6 


58*9 
41 I 


56*3 

437 


590 

41*0 


567 

43*3 


571 

42-9 


The year being . . 


100 'O 


lOO'O 


100 'O 


ICX>*0 


lOO'O 


lOO'O 



The inference is clear, for unless we ascribe 
all suicide to madness, it is impossible to ex- 
plain its variation by season on the theory of 
insanity. Even then, we but push the problem 
a little backward ; what produces the suicidal 
insanity ? It seems to me that we must look 
for some influence which is common to both 



I04 INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 

phenomena, as an exciting or predisposing 
cause of each. 

III. Crimes of Violence, — All actions are 
criminal which are in violation of the law. A 
crime is not necessarily morally wrong ; it may 
be on the contrary a very noble and meritorious 
protest against injustice and tyranny, and yet 
by the laws of the country be punishable even 
with death. 

Putting aside all minor subdivisions, crimes 
in every country, whether civilized or barbarous, 
may be divided into two great classes : infring- 
ments upon rights of Property, or injuries to 
the Person. The exciting causes which induce 
these two kinds of offence, are as a rule differ- 
ent. In the predatory instinct of the habitual 
thief, or the sudden impulse of temptation in 
destitution, we see examples of those causes 
which provoke crimes against property. These 
impulses, coincident often with opportunity and 
temptation, are peculiar to no season or clime, 
except that they are more frequent and 
numerous when food is dear, and work difificult 
to obtain. In India, crimes against property are 
in almost exact coincidence with the failure of 
crops, or the abundance and cheapness of food. 



UPOr{ CONDUCT. 105 

< 

/ Crimes against persons, on the other hand, 
manifestly arise from very different causes. In 
the majority of cases they are the outcome of 
powerful passions, which, suddenly excited, 
break down all the barriers of prudential self- 
control. Sudden anger, and resentment spring- 
ing even from the. most trifling disputes, desire 
for revenge of deeper injuries, real or imagin- 
ary, jealousy and rage, and other passions, 
common to brute and man, — all these may 
occasion assaults upon the person of the indi- 
vidual, i 

It is therefore in this class or species of crime 
that we may expect to detect the influence of 
seasons, if such influence exists. 

Now the Judicial Reports of England and 
Wales fortunately afford us means of testing 
the problem, since we can tabulate year after 
year, all crimes against persons, so far as these 
offences were reported to the police authorities. 
If there be no effect upon criminal acts exerted 
by the variance of temperature and the change 
of season, we should find no correspondence to 
exist between them. Murderous assaults, for 
example, or crimes growing out of sex-passions, 
would be distributed over the entire year, with- 



io6 



INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 



out preponderance at any season ; or manifest- 
ing a preponderance, sometimes in winter, and 
sometimes in spring. In the following table I 
have grouped together in one class all assaults 
affecting human life, excepting only the murder 



Table V. — Of the total number of Murders or 
Murderous Assaults in England and Wales during 
A PERIOD OF Ten Years, how many occurred during 

EACH OF THE FOUR QUARTERS OF THE YEAR ? 





Total No. of Crimes. 


Per cent, each quarter year. 




1878-1882. 


1883-1887. 


1878-1882. 


1883-1887. 


1. Jan., Feb., March, . 

2. Apri], May, June 

3. July, Aug., Sept . 

4. Oct., Nov., Dec . 


412 

566 

488 


451 
506 

567 

469 


21 

29 

25 


23 

25 
28 

24 


Total 


I9S7 


1993 . 


100 


100 



of infants under one year. I do not suppose 
that the inclusion of these would materially 
change the result ; but infanticide differs from 
other acts of homicide in this respect, that it does 
not spring from passionate rage or anger against 
the victim, but is more frequently the outcome 



UPON CONDUCT. 107 



of selfishness, of desire to avoid responsibility, 
or to escape shame. The preceding table in- 
cludes all other cases of murder or manslaughter, 
and all reported attempts at homicide of every 
description in England and Wales for a period 
of ten years. Of the total number of such 
crimes in each of two periods, what per cent, 
occurred in each of the four quarters of the 
year? 

It appears, therefore, that in England and 
Wales 53 or 54 per cent, of homicidal or 
murderous attacks occur during the period from 
April 1st to Sept. 30th, as against 46 or 47 per 
cent, during the colder months of the year. Or 
to put the figures in another and perhaps more 
intelligible form, we may say that during the ten 
years mentioned, 1878-188 7, the number of 
murderous attacks occurred as follows : 

In Spring and Summer (April to Sept.) . 2128 
In Autumn and Winter (Oct. to March) . 1820 

It is an excess of about three hundred homi- 
cides or attempted homicides during the warmer 
half of the year over and above what occur in 
autumn and winter. Probably, too, a certain 
number of murders owe their incitement to 
avarice and greed, rather than personal ani- 






I 
j 

io8 INFLUENCE OF SEASONS " 



mosity ; and these would be distributed through- 
out the year. If only those arising from passion 
could be included, the proportionate difference 
would undoubtedly be very much greater. 
/ There is one species of crime more obviously 
bnital than all others in its origin and charac- 
ter ; I refer to assaults bv force upon the 
chastity of women and girls. \ The philosophic 
student of the twenty-first century, contem- 
plating the perplexing phases of social life in 
an age which we sometimes fancy to be almost 
the nodn of civilization, will wonder how it 
happened that in Christian England, until the 
year 1885, ^ gi^l of fourteen years was deemed 
incapable of entering into any legal contract 
whatever, yet presumed to be perfectly capable 
of tacitly assenting to her own ruin. Now I 
have taken from the Judicial Reports the total 
number of crimes springing from sex-passion, so 
far as these were known to the police, during a 
period of ten years. It is exceedingly probable 
that many more crimes of this character were, 
from various motives, concealed from the author- 
ities ; but these as given are sadly significant. 
I have divided them into two periods of five 
years each. 



UPON CONDUCT, 



109 



V 



Table VI. — Number of Crimes pertaining to Sex- 
Passion (Rape, and Assaults against Chastity), 
IN England and Wales, during Ten Years, 1878- 
1887, and the proportion committed each quarter 
of the year. 





Total number of Crimes 
reported to Police. 


What per cent. 

occurred during each 

Quarter ? 




1878-82 
5 years. 


1883-87 

5 years. 


xo 
years. 


1878-82 


1883-87 


xo 
years. 


First Quarter: 

Jan., Feb., March . 
Second Quarter : 

April, May, June . 
Third Quafrter : 

July, Aug., Sept. 
Fourth Quarter : 

Oct, Nov., Dec. 


611 

866 
987 

599 


866 

1359 
1556 

1053 


1477 

2225 
2543 

1652 


20 

28 

32 

20 


18 
28 

32 

22 


19 

28 

32 

21 




3063 


4834 


7897 


100 


100 


100 



This table is of special interest. In no 
species of crime is the apparent effect of cosmic 
influence so evident as in offences of this 
kind. This is extremely significant 

It will be observed, of course, that the 
quarters of the year do not correspond with the 
seasons ; but the divergence is not great. 
March is included with winter, and September 
goes with summer ; but in all probability the 
influence of the first month of spring is stronger 
than the first month of autumn. 



• 



no INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 

I have divided them into periods of five 
years, so that the reader may not only note 
how closely they correspond in proportional 
prevalence, but also that remarkable fact — the 
great increase of crimes of this character during 
recent years. In 1879 the total number of 
cases reported was 542. In 1887 the number 
had risen to 1,210, more than double. Yet 
there is no substantial change as regards the 
time of the year : whether for the first period or 
the last, it is just sixty per cent, of offences that 
apparently must needs come between the first 
of April and the last of Sept. A considerable 
part of this increased criminality was due to 
a change of the law. If it were true that we 
cannot make men virtuous by Act of Parlia- 
ment, at least we can make them criminals ; 
the law of the land to-day makes that a felony . 
which for centuries of English history could not 
be legally punished. It is very curious to note 
the rise of crimes as the law begins to take 
effect. 

The fluctuation of crimes of this character 
from season to season will be best seen by a 
diagram based upon the actual numbers for 
each quarter year. For example, during the 



UPON CONDUCT. iii 

first quarter of the year 1880, the total number 
of crimes of this kind was 140; the next 
quarter, from April to July, it rose to 180 ; from 
August to October, the third quarter, it re- 
mained at 182, rapidly falling during the colder 
season, and rising with the following spring.^ 

In France, too, the same correspondence be- 
tween offences against chastity and the season 
of the year has been long noticed. In 1851, 
Dr. Villerme, in the Annals d* Hygiene, pointed 
out that a distribution of these crimes accord- 
ing to months discovered their especial fre- 
quency in May, June, and. July. Later ob- 
servations by Profs. Lacassagne and Tardieu, 
by Drs. Garraud and Bernard, confirm ab- 
solutely the earlier reports, and show that for 
France, as the last-named author states, *! c est 
^n mai, juin, juillet et aoClt que s'observe 
la plus grande frequence des attentats aux 
mceurs." * The curve from month to month 
through the year follows almost absolutely that 
taken by suicide and insanity, except that its 

^ From Tables in Appendix the reader can test the 
accuracy of this and other diagrams, by constructing them 
for himself. See diagram on the following page. 
Arch. Anthropolog. Crim. 1886-7. 



INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 






el 

a S 



5^ 



H^^p-^^^^ 



UPON CONDUCT, 113 

rise and fall are more abrupt. Tardieu gives 
the figures for ten years 1860-69, showing no 
less than 63 per cent, of the whole number of 
such offences occurred during the six months 
April-October ; and almost the same result is 
shown by Bernard in his article to which I have 
referred. 

IV. All Crimes against the Person. — The 
totality of ** Crimes against Persons," exhibits 
the same phenomena, though in a less marked 
degree. It so happens that among crimes 
thus tabulated, there are some offences which 
perhaps are quite as frequently against the wel- 
fare of the commonwealth as against the 
individual. " Bigamy," for instance, or ** child 
stealing " ; ** the abandonment of infants," or 
" concealment of their birth," are all tabulated 
in this country with " murder and man- 
slaughter," as crimes against the person. 

Taking, nevertheless, the total number of all 
crimes against persons, for ten years (1878-87), 
including not only those of the more serious 
kind just tabulated, but all others so far as 
known to the police, we find them to have been 
committed in months undermentioned in follow- 
ing proportions. As affording an interesting 

I 



114 



INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 



comparison, I have brought together the same 
facts for Ireland, during the period of the 
years 1878-87, and for France during forty 
years, 1830- 1869. 

Table VII. — Of total Crimes against the Person, 
what per cent. were committed during the 
Seasons specified ? 





Spring. 


Summer. 


Autumn. 


Winter. 


Year. 


England 10 years, 












1878-87 


26 


29 


24 


21 


100 


Ireland 10 years, 












1878-87 


25 


28 


24 


23 


100 


France 40 years, 












1830-69 


28 


27 


22 


23 


100 



Here, again, we find that all crimes, even 
those arising from personal antipathy or hatred, 
seem specially prevalent in the warmer half of 
the year. In England, 55 per cent, of all such 
acts of violence during the ten years 1878-188 7 
happened in spring and summer, and in France 
during a period of forty years the average was 
the same. ^ Ireland, indeed, shows a more 



^ The figures for France are taken from the " Compte- 
Gen. de la Justice Criminelle," p. cxvi. [1880]. See also 
Appendix. 



UPON CONDUCT. 115 



even distribution of such crimes ; but the same 
tendency is seen even there. 

V. Birth-rates, — The influence of season 
upon the birth-rate was suggested by Quetelet 
in 1824, who then pointed out that the number 
of children born in Belgium every year was 
always greatest about the months of January 
and February, a fact which supposes the 
maximum of conceptions in April and May. 
Now, among human beings is there yet re- 
maining any trace of that instinct which leads 
birds to mate when winter goes, and which in 
earlier periods of man's development was per- 
haps as strong with him as with other animals ? 
If it exists, should we find any difference, in 
and out of the marriage relation ?^ The subject 
is so little known that I shall offer no apology 
for presenting whatever facts are obtainable. 

On some accounts it is more satisfactory' 
here to obtain proportions of each month or 
season to every 1,200 births occurring during 
the entire year ; since we then have a rate due 
each month of exactly 100 births, and can see 
at a glance whether in any given number of 
months we have more or less than the numbers 
due. 



Ii6 



INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 



Table VIII. — Of each 1,200 Legitimate Births Annually, ' 

HOW MANY were THE RESULT OF CONCEPTIONS EACH 

Season of the Year in the following Countries? 





France. 


Norway. 


Sweden. 


Holland. 


Italy. 1 


Spring — Mar., April, 












May 


310 


315 


313 


321 


318 


Summer — June, 












July, August . • 


314 


309 


307 


310 


315 


Autumn— Sept.,Oct., 




t 








Nov. 


283 


287 


277 


268 


270 


Winter — December, 












Jan., Feb. . . . 


293 


289 


303 


301 


297 


The Year . . 


1,200 


1,200 


1,200 


1,200 


1,200 



Legitimate births therefore appear to be 
slightly under the influence of seasons. The 
difference in reproduction proclivity is not great, 
but it is fairly suggestive of permanent influence. 

More striking is the evidence of periodicity 
in the proclivity to those relationships which 
occasion illegitimate births. If in the earlier 
stages of human development out of animalism 
there did exist the stronger instincts of the 
brute, we might expect to find the traces to- 



^ The figures for Italy are inclusive of both legitimate 
and illegitimate births. 



UPON CONDUCT. 



117 



day wherever passion is more powerful than 
the respect due to custom, religion, and law. 



Table IX. — Illegitimate Births. Of each 1,200 An- 
nually, HOW MANY WERE DUE TO CONCEPTIONS AT 

Different Seasons of the Year in the follow- 
ing Countries? 



Spring — March, April, 

May 

Summer — June, July, 

August 

Autumn — Sept., Oct , 

Nov 

Winter — Dec, Jan., 

Feb.: 



France. 



321 

324 

27s 
280 



1,200 



Norway. 



298 
312 
292 
.298 



1,200 



Sweden. 



338 

275 
272 



1,200 



Holland. 



341 

304 

253 
302 



1,200 



The phenomenon is even more notable if we 
compare the four months of April, May, June, 
and July, when the proclivity appears strongest, 
with the four months, October, November, De- 
cember, and January, when it is least. 



ii8 



INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 



Table X, — Of each 1,200 Births Annually, how many 
WERE THE Result of Conceptions during ^ two 
Periods of Four Months bach? 





Four months, April to 
July. 


Four months, October to 
January. 




L^timate. 


Illegitimate. 


Legitimate. 


Illegitimate. 


France . . 
Holland . . 
Sweden . . 
Norway ^ . . 


429 

436 

421 

425 


446 

437 

443 
419 


384 
384 
389 
397 


365 
364 
349 
396 



For Italy we are unable to make, as regards 
season, any distinction between legitimate and 
illegitimate births, so that I have not included 
it in the foregoing table. Taking all births 
together, however, Italy tells the same story. 
Per 1,200 annual births, the conceptions be- 
tween April and July were 440, as contrasted 
with 379 for the four months October to January. 

In Norway, too, the spring-time is long in 
coming, and its influence, as we should naturally 



^ For Norway the four months of strongest tendency for 
illegitimate births are June to September. For the facts 
from which the last three tables have been made, see Dr. 
Bertillon's article "Natality," in Diet. Enc. des Sciences 
Medicates. 



UPON CONDUCT. 119 



expect, is felt at a period considerably later 
than in other countries. 

While there are no English statistics avail- 
able which allow exact comparison with those 
mentioned for other nations, we are neverthe- 
less given by the Registrar General the basis 
for what seems to me an exceedingly interest- 
ing curve diagram, in the quarterly birth-rate 
since 1841. Merely as figures they appear to 
have attracted no attention ; but thrown into a 
diagram, the singular alternations from season 
to season are most strikingly evident. It ap- 
pears that for the ten years 1841-50 the average 
birth-rate in England and Wales for the first 
quarter of the year was 34*2 ; that for the 
second quarter it was 337 ; at once falling 
away for the last half of the year to an average 
of 31*2. Now see how regularly this pheno- 
menon is repeated for the next forty years, and 
then how closely it compares with the ex- 
perience of half a century. For the quarterly 
birth-rate in England and Wales for over fifty 
years forms a succession of similar waves, from 
season to season. 



I20 



INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 



Curve Diagram, showing for England and Wales 
THE Annual Birth-Rate to i,ooo living, for 
EACH Quarter of the Year, during Four Ten- 
Year Periods.^ 





1841 '50 


1851-60 


1861-70 


1871-'80. 


Birth 
Bate. 


/ 2 3 4 


/ 2 3 4 


/ 2 3 4 


/ 2 3 * 


31 










J6 






1^^*^ 


.'S. 


35 




■■^ 


1 \ 


/ \ 


34 


V 


.' \ . 


\ 


^ 


33 


\ 


' V 






3Z 


\ ;■ 


^- 




i 


31 


Vj 


t 






30 










We have thus a diagram based upon nearly 
thirty million births. It proves, I think, 



^ The curve showing the birth-rate variations for more 
than half a century may be easily made by the reader on a 
sheet of ruled paper, from the following data. The average 
number of births during the first three months of the period 
1 838-1 889 was at the annual rate of 351 per ten thousand 
population ; for the next three montfis, April to June, 349 ; 
while for the third quarter the rate was only 327, and for 
the last quarter, 326. See Table 4, in Reg. Gen. Rep. for 
England and Wales for 1889. See also Table No. 15 in 
the 39th Annual Report of the Registrar General for year , 
1876. 



UPON CONDUCT, 121 



beyond question the influence of the seasons 
upon the birth-rate in this country. Taken 
altogether, the facts seem to me almost defi- 
nitely conclusive of the theory that as regards 
births, male or female, in dity or country, 
legitimate or illegitimate, in countries as far 
apart as Italy ^nd England or France and 
Sweden, the months of spring and summer 
mark on the human race a stronger propulsion 
toward what Schopenhauer calls "the will to 
live." 

Marriage, — One would naturally expect to 
find the influence of season particularly notice- 
able upon the marriage rate. In a perfectly 
natural system of society, where the inclination 
or proclivity was free to turn undisturbed, it 
would be undoubtedly evident. It so happens, 
however, that religious and social customs in- 
tervene in most civilized countries, and create 
prejudices for, or against, the celebration of 
marriage during particular seasons of the year, 

• 

— prejudices whith of course have no basis in 
nature. For instance, in Catholic countries 
marriage must not take place during Lent ; 
therefore in France and Italy the majority of 
nuptials are iti February. In Ireland, particu- 



122 INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 

larly in the West and South, more than half 
the Catholic marriages are celebrated between 
Christmas and Shrovetide. In some parts of 
Europe, Scotland for instance, there is a strong 
prejudice against marrying in May — a prejudice 
which Sir Walter Scott noticed in Malta, and 
mentions in his last journals. Nearly every- 
where agricultural populations object to the 
season of harvest, and defer such ceremonies 
until October and November. In Russia more 
than three-fourths of all marriages occur in 
autumn and winter; a proportion altogether 
impossible unless some exceedingly strong local 
customs or religious prejudices did not inter- 
fere. No such prejudice appears in respect 
to criminal actions; it does not appear that 
intending suicides hesitate because it happens 
to be Lent. There is no doubt, I think, that 
an influence toward marriage is exerted by 
different seasons — an influence which is per- 
ceptible in several countries — but as a rule it 
is quite overwhelmed and repressed, or rather 
diverted, by considerations of policy, local pre- 
judices, and the dictates of religion. 

Upon the tendency to marital dissatisfaction, 
one might expect the influence of spring-time 



UPON CONDUCT. 123 



to be specially felt. Are elopements more 
common at this season ? There are no figures, 
and of course no means of deciding the facts. 
In his valuable study of the divorce question, 
Dr. J. Bertillori has given the season of the 
years during which some 7,177 divorces were 
pronounced in France during the two years 
1885-86. Of this number it appears that no 
less than 61 per cent, were obtained between 
April I St and September 30th of each year, 
leaving for the autumn and winter 39 per cent. 
Do these figures indicate to any extent the 
period of the year when divorce proceedings 
were initiated.^ If so, they accord with the 
general law. Usually, however, so much delay 
intervenes between the application for divorce 
and its concession, that little relation may exist 
between the time when desire for disunion first 
shaped action, and the time of the year. Still 
the coincidence is worth noting, and makes 
further observation desirable. 

In other phases of conduct springing from 
emotional excitement we perhaps may detect 
in some slight degree the working of the general 
law. Duels, for instance, would not at first 
glance be taken as subject to any law of period- 



124 INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 

city. In Italy, nevertheless, it is found that 
they are far more common in spring and 
summer than in the other seasons, and par- 
ticularly frequent in spring. 

Popular insurrections, riots, outbursts of 
patriotic fervour, or revolutions, all are ap- 
parently more apt to occur in the spring and 
summer months. In America, it has been 
noticed that the first armed resistance to British 
authority was made in April, 1775, that the 
first pitched battle was fought in June, and that 
the decision to sever absolutely all allegiance 
to the mother country was adopted in July. 
It may some day be held doubtful whether that 
great wave of patriotic fury which swept over 
the Northern States at the firing upon Fort 
Sumter in April, 1861, could possibly have 
been evoked at the North during the chilly 
months of November and December. Four 
great riots in the city of New York, in 1849,. 
1857, 1863, and 1 87 1, occurred during May, 
June, and July. In Paris, it was July that 
witnessed the attack upon the Bastille in 1789, 
the fall, of the Bourbons in 1830, and that 
declaration of war with Prussia in 1870 which 
led to the overthrow of Napoleori III., while 



UPON CONDUCT. 125 



the great riot of June, 1848, which overturned 
the Orleans dynasty, and the final scenes of 
the Commune in the closing days of May, 
187 1 — tragedies and atrocities which it almost 
seems as if civilization had conspired with 
history to forget — all these are in conformity 
with the influence of spring and summer on the 
passion toward violence. It will not do to 
push this part of the theory to absolute con- 
clusions without a careful tabulation of all great 
historical insurrectionary movements and poli- 
tical outbreaks throughout the Northern Hemi- 
sphere, and for this I have no present leisure. 
But the instances given are certainly fairly 
representative of popular insurrectionary move- 
ments ; and if England has been omitted, it is 
only because riots are . always unusual here. 
The last occasion of a great mob in London 
was the " No-Popery " riot of June, 1780. Cer- 
tainly, as a rule, so far as popular outbreaks are 
concerned, winter seems to be conservative in 
its influence, while spring and summer are full 
of passionate tendencies toward outbreak, 
whether of riot or revolution. 

For a final comparison I have grouped 
together various phases of conduct, wherein 



126 



INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 



Table XI. — Of each thousand (i,ooo) attacks of 
Insanity or case of Suicide, Crime, etc., how 
many happens) in each half of the year? 



Phases of Conduct or Disease. 



Insanity. 

(^) Dr. Ritti's Admissions to Char- 

enton, lo yrs. (1879-88) . . 

Esquirols 

(*) Pennsylvania Hospital admis- 
sions (7,867 cases) .... 

(^) Scotland. Admissions to Asy- 
lums, 10 yrs. (1865-74), men . 

(^) Scotland. Admissions to Asy- 
lums, 10 yrs. (1865-74), women. 

(^) Scotland. Admissions to Asy- 
lums, 8 yrs. (1880-87), men . 

(^) Scotland. Admissions to Asy- 
lums, 8 yrs. (1880-87), women. 

Suicide. 

London. 20 years (1865-84) 
[Dr. Ogle] 

^^) New York, 10 years (1870-79) . 

e) » „ „ „ (1880-89). 

(*) San Francisco, 10 years (187 1- 

80) 

France, 17 years (1836-52), men. 

France, 17 years (1836-52), 

women 

(^) Switzerland, 10 years (1876-85). 

(^) Denmark „ „ „ 

(April-Sept, 6 months) . , . 
Belgium (1841-49) 

(1) Italy, 3 years (1880-82) . . . 

(^) Japan, 4 years (1882-85) [22,894 
cases] 



Six Months 

of Spring 

and Summer. 


Six Months 
of Autumn 
and Winter. 


The 
Year. 


52-6 


47*4 


lOO'O 


548 


45 '2 


lOO'O 


54-6 


45-5 


100*0 


52-7 


473 


lOO'O 


533 


467 


lOO'O 


52-9 


471 


lOO'O 


63-8 


46*2 


lOO'O 


55-9 


44-1 


lOO'O 


55-3 


44*7 


lOO'O 


64-9 


451 


lOO'O 


52-4 


47*6 


lOO'O 


58-8 


41-2 


lOO'O 


67-9 


42'I 


lOO'O 


57-4 


426 


lOO'O 


59-5 


40-5 


lOO'O 


67-6 


42-4 


lOO'O 


57-6 


42-4 


lOO'O 


574 


42*6 


lOO'O 



UPON CONDUCT. 



127 



Phases of Conduct or Disease. 



SuiciD E — continued, 

(1) Japan, 3 years (1886-88) [18,204 

cases] 

Algiers, 4 years (1879-82) . . 

(^) England and Wales, attempts at 

suicide (1878-1887) .... 

Homicide (including murderous 

assaults). 
(^) England and Wales, 5 years 

(1878-82) 

(^) England and Wales, 5 years 

(1883-87) 

Crime. 

(^) England and Wales, crime agt 

person, 5 years (1878-82) . . 

(^) England and Wales, crime agt. 

person, 5 years (1883-87) . . 

(^) Ireland, crime agt. person, 10 

years (1878-87) 

France, crime agt. person, 40 

years (1830-69) 

(^) England and Wales, crimes agt. 

chastity, 10 years (1878-87) . 

France, crimes agt. chastity, 10 

years (1860-69) 

Births. 

Illegitimate, France, 1856-65 . 

„ Holland, 1860-69 

„ Sweden, 1861-70. 

„ Paris, 1856-65 . 

Legitimate and illegitimate, 

Italy 

Legitimate and illegitimate, 
England and Wales (51 
years) 



M 



o fc. S 
coog 



58-6 
610 

604 



541 
54-9 

540 
54-9 
534 
550 
60*1 
62-9 

63-7 
537 
54*5 
51*8 

52 7 
519 



§5;9 



The 
Year. 



41-4 
39*6 



45*9 
451 

46 •© 

45*1 
46-6 

450 

39*9 

37*1 

46-3 

46-3 

45*5 
48-2 

47*3 
48-1 



lOO'O 

100*0 

lOO'O 



lOO'O 

100*0 

lOO'O 
lOO'O 
lOO'O 

100*0 

lOO'O 

lOO'O 

lOO'O 
lOO'O 
lOO'O 
lOO'O 

lOO'O 
lOO'O 



See footnote on page 128. 



128 INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 

Statistics covering long periods of time show 
what is the preponderance of occurrence during 
spring and summer as compared with the re- 
mainder of the year. It is manifest to any one, 
that if no influence of the kind was in existence, 
the normal frequency of each phase of conduct 
for each half of the year would be exactly half, 
or 500 in each thousand cases during the yean 
In the preceding table I have included some 
statistics to which no previous reference in 
detail has been made.^ 

This list might be indefinitely extended, but 
here at least is enough to demonstrate that some 
force or influence disturbs the even distribution 
throughout the year of certain phases of con- 
duct, and especially of conduct arising from 
passions which, in excess, are probably allied 
to madness. This preponderance is not very 
great, but it is constant, year after year. 
Perhaps we might even measure the potency 
of that inclination toward violent actions 
exerted by the warmer seasons; for it is about 
the difference between the highest and lowest 

1 All statistics thus distinguished have been gathered by 
the author from the original official documents. In most 
cases the exact figures will be found in the Appendix. 



UPON CONDUCT. 129 



averages. During ten years for example, 
the number of Crimes against the Person, in 
England and Wales, during the first quarter of 
the year were 6,471, or an average for the year 
of about 25,800. As a matter of fact the 
number was over 30,000. In Scotland again, 
during eighteen years the number of persons 
attacked with insanity during December was 
2,971, and during January, 2,974. Now had 
the disease exhibited no greater rate of preva- 
lence throughout the other months, more than 
2^,000 patients would have probably escaped the 
need for asylums in Scotland alone ! But even 
immunity from insanity would be perhaps too 
dearly purchased at the cost of perpetual 
winters. 

Are we justified in supposing that the influ- 
ence of season is limited only to crime, insanity, 
etc. ? If what we sometimes call the " un- 
reasoning impulses " are pushed into undue 
activity as winter leaves us and the earth 
responds to solar influences, may not other 
actions, infinitely more numerous arise from the 
same cause ? To one deed of crime, so serious 
as to call for the notice of the law, there 
are ten thousand acts of impetuous folly, of 

K 



I30 INFLUENCE OF SEASONS . 

unreasoning anger, of jealousy, bad temper, 
and pugnacious proclivity. There can be no 
statistical record of them ; yet they may ruin 
the happiness of a million homes. We can 
only appeal to individual experience. If atten- 
tion were generally directed to the inquiry, we 
might find here, as well as elsewhere, that pro- 
clivity towards all passionate or emotional acts 
is strongq§t at certain seasons, in conformity 
with that general law, which then increases the 
frequency of insanity, vice, and crime. 

What is the underlying cause of the phe- 
nomena I have grouped together ? Admitting 
the facts, why does the cycle of the seasons 
thus affect the human will ? How is it that at 
one time impulse is chilled with cold, and at 
another season heated into fierce activity ^ 

The connection between the periodicity of 
attacks of insanity and proclivity toward suicide 
has more than once been suggested. If suicide 
be invariably the result of insane impulse, we 
can easily comprehend why the act of despair 
follows the course of the mental disease. As 
previously pointed out, attempts made to 
separate suicides of persons manifestly insane 
from others, have only resulted in discovering 



UPON CONDUCT. 131 

that both classes of self-destruction are alike 
subject to this annual ebb and flow. 

I am nevertheless inclined to believe in the 
close relationship between the great mass of 
criminal, vicious, and passionate acts, arising 
from the violence of the emotions, and an 

unsound mental condition. It need not be 

« 

that complex and completely abnormal state 
which we call ** insanity." One of the principal 
lecturers on mental diseases in London, was 
accustomed to advise his pupils to avoid pro- 
nouncing upon the insanity of any one ; it was 
far safer, he declared, to affirm that the patient 
affected was of "unsound mind," a term of 
great flexibility, and of corresponding utility. 
It may not be too much to assume that all 
violent and sudden outbursts of unreasoning 
rage, cruelty, lust, or jealousy, leading to actions 
which the perpetrator in sober moments bitterly 
regrets, are the effect of a mind temporarily 
unbalanced, and unbound. A mad man is a 
madman for the hour ; he does not reason or 
reflect : he only feels ; and even the certainty 
of retributive justice may not check the up- 
lifted hand. The mentally unbalanced who 
sooner or later find themselves within the walls 



132 INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 

of an asylum or retreat are but a tithe of those 
who escape such control, and continue year 
after year to make miserable the lives of all 
dependent upon them. But even granting this 
connection between "insanity" and acts of 
passion, we have still to ascertain why such 
attacks of mental unsoundness vary with the 
seasons ? What mysterious bond unites them 
all in one common perturbation at certain 
seasons of the year ? 

There is one hypothesis which seems to me 
capable of accounting for all the phenomena. 
It is this ; that either by the gradual increase 
of solar light and solar heat, or else in some 
other manner quite mysterious at present, the 
breaking up of winter and the advent of spring 
and summer seasons, produces upon all animated 
nature a peculiar state of excitement or exalta- 
tion of the nervous system. Upon evidence not 
yet sufficient for demonstration, I am disposed 
to believe that one effect both in higher animals 
and in man is an actual increase in the quantity 
of blood sent through the system ; or that the 
heart in reality beats at a quicker rate, with 
stronger impulse, in April and May, than in 
November and December. 



UPON CONDUCT, 133 

Now the physiological effect of this slightly 
increased nervous energy and sensibility mani- 
fests itself probably in different ways. In the 
first place everywhere in nature the advent of 
the warmer seasons signalizes the special apti- 
tude of the creature for fertility and reproduc- 
tion ; and the facts I have brought forward 
appear to me to indicate that mankind does not 
escape an influence which thus affects alike the 
animal and vegetable world. Doubtless in 
many cases the influence is too slight to be sub- 
jectively noted ; we can only discover the effect 
through statistics of conduct, in relation to the 
great mass of human beings, and by noting' 
whether there is in truth any preponderance 
of phenomena at different seasons. 

Again, a continuous and gradually increasing 
wave of excitability or nervous exaltation affect- 
ing the entire human race in any given latitude 
would undoubtedly give rise to emotional mani- 
festations, leading to action. Probably there 
are few of us who have not at certain times 
experienced a strange tendency to melancholy 
retrospect, a vague restlessness, an undue de- 
pression of spirits, or an irritability and discon- 
tent without apparent cause. Whether conduct 



134 INFLUENCE OF SEASONS. 

thus incited shall be good or bad, generous or 
selfish, vicious or virtuous, will in all cases 
principally depend on individual character and 
organization. To humanity in the highest type 
of development, perhaps even to the Race as a 
whole, this exacerbation of emotional life with 
the opening year does no harm ; on the con- 
trary, it is the source of sentiment, the occasion 
of poetry, the inspiration in gentle natures of 
the purest and most reverential love, or in 
noble souls of patriotic resistance to oppression 
and tyranny. But that which upon the great 
mass of mankind evinces itself in perfectly nor- 
mal ways, may have a far different effect upon 
the ungovernable temper, the uncontrolled 
appetite, the jealous suspicions of uhsound 
minds. Discontent with environment becomes 
then transformed, it may be, into desire for 
death, and the thought of suicide. Dis- 
appointed love may then lead to a fixed melan- 
choly, or anxiety and trouble to the delusion of 
despair, and we then say that a wave of insanity 
passed over us. The brutal lusts, the selfish 
and pugnacious instincts of the half-civilized 
barbarians in our great cities, may need only 
the incitement of opportunity to induce the 



^1 



I 



UPON CONDUCT. 135 



trampling under foot of all moral restraints ; 
and we note the increase of crimes of lust and 
resentment, or of murders and assaults with in- 
tent to kill. Like the magnetic needle, the 
will trembles toward every impulse ; and when 
brutal propensities are uncontrolled, even slight 
causes may be sufficient to decide the sway and 
determine the action. For it depends where 
one stands whether he shall feel even the 
strongest of impulses in the physical world. 
The earthquake that laid Lisbon in ruins was 
noticed by the peasants working in their vine- 
yards a hundred miles away only as a slight, 
tremulous thrill. 

The hypothetical connection between certain 
phases of conduct may, perhaps, be brought 
more distinctly before the mind of the reader 
by the scheme on the following page. 

Misapprehension in regard to any unfamiliar 
theory is almost certain to occur. It took 
many years for popular comprehehsion to 
understand that the Darwinian hypothesis did 
not mean the lineal and direct descent, of men 
from monkeys. It cannot therefore be too 
clearly stated that cosmic influence upon human 
conduct is always very slight when we take into 



136 



INFLUENCE OF SEASONS 



Theory of Relation between Solar Influences 

AND Human Conduct. 



I. 

Solar Influences. 



Gradually in- 
creasing 

LIGHT and 
HEAT 

OF 

SPRING 

AND 

SUMMER. 



IL 

Physical results 

upon Men and 

Animals. 



in. 

Mental and Physical 

conditions arising 

from II. 



I. Increased 2. 
Action of 
THE Heart. 



II. Excita- 
tion OF the 
Nervous 
System. 



I. Emotional exalt- 
ation. 
Increased ten- 
dency toward 
the reproduc- 
tive instinct. 

3. Increased ten- 

dency toward 
Jealousy. 

4. Increased com- 

bativeness and 
pugnacity. 

5. Increased irrita- 

bility of disposi- 
tion and temper 

6. Sentimentality. 

7. Mental depres- 

sion. 

8. Enthusiasm for 

change. 



IV. 

Slight preponderance of 
certain phases^ of con- 
duct or disease in Spring 
and SutHtner produced 
thereby. 



I. 



2. 



4. 

5- 
6. 

7. 
8. 

9- 
10. 

II. 
12. 

13- 
14. 



Birth-rate, legi- 
timate. 

Birth-rate, illegi- 
timate. 

Crimes of sex- 
passion. 

Marriage ratet 

Divorces. 

Murders. 

Assaults. 

Duels. 

Riots. 

Attacks of in- 
sanity. 

*'Lov£.affairs ? " 

Suicide. 

Attempts at sui- 
cide. 

Revolutions. 



account the totality of action in any direction. 
What appears to me clear is its existence as 
a true factor of causation — no matter to how 
slight an extent Only by some theory of the 
kind do I see how we are to explain phe- 
nomena of life — such for instance as the birth- 
rate, and suicide — which have no conceivable 
relation to each other, and yet which alike pre- 
ponderate at certain seasons of the year. 



UPON CONDUCT, 137 



But ev en if true, what is the use of knowing 
it ? No greater use, perhaps, than in other 
interrogations of Nature ; in the study of the 
habits of an earth-worm, the flight of a swallow, 
or the parallax of a star. Yet I fancy there is 
always a potential value in facts. 

Of their relation to life, animals must always 
remain in ignorance ; but to human beings the 
knowledge which future investigation of these 
questions may more completely attain — that 
they are periodically subject to influences, 
dangerous oftentimes in their final effect upon 
conduct — cannot be wholly valueless. And 
besides this, there seems to me something so 
profoundly wonderful in the secrets of Nature 
and the uniformity of natural laws, that I envy 
no one whose emotions are never touched by 
that sense of mystery whicl^ underlies all 
reverence and love. One?''^§ummer's day the 
opportunity was mine to look through a tele- 
scope at a large spot on the sun. Into that 
dark chasm our planet might drop, without 
even touching the edge of flame on either side. 
That may yet be its fate. But even now, it is 
not impossible that what we call ** a mere sun- 
spot " in midsummer may have some influence, 



138 INFLUENCE OF SEASONS, 



in our little world, upon the ebb ar i flow of 
passion, the excitement of emotion, and all that 
makes up the profound mystery of human life. 



\ 



APPENDIX I. 



EXTRACTS. 

Illegitimacy in England. 

No one can have taken any interest in the working- 
classes without being aware how frightfully common among 
them is what they terra "a misfortune ;" how few young 
women come to the marriage altar at all, or come there just 
a week or two before maternity, or having already had 
several children, often only half-brothers and sisters. * * * 
It is easy for tenderly reared young ladies who study human 
passions through Miss Austen or Miss Edgeworth to say, 
** How shocking ! Oh, it can't be true ! " But it is true, 
and they will not live many more years without finding it true. 
' Another fact, stranger still to account for, is, that ^he 
women who thus fall are by no means the worst of their 
station, I have heard it affiimed by more than one lady, 
and by one in particular whose experience is as large as her 
benevolence, that many of them are of the very best — 
refined, intelligent, truthful, and affectionate. ' 

" I don't know how it isj" she would say, " whether their 
very superiority makes them dissatisfied with their own rank, 
so that they fall easier victims to the rank above them, or 
whether other virtues can exist and flourish entirely distinct 
from, and after the loss of what we are accustomed to 
believe the indispensable virtue of our sex, — Chastity. I 
cannot explain it ; I can only say that it is so — that some 
of my most promising village girls have been the first to 
come to harpi ; and some of the best and most faithful 

X39 



I40 APPENDIX, 



servants I ever had have been girls who have fallen into 
shame, and who, had I not gone to the rescue, and put 
them on the way to do well, would invariably have become 
lost womenP 

Had she not ** come to the rescue." Rescue, then, is , 
possible, and they were capable of being rescued [**A 

Woman's Thoughts about Women," by Miss Mulock, 
Author of ** John Halifax, Gentleman."] 



Immorality (in Hayti) is so universal that it almost 
ceases to be a fault, for a fault implies an exception, and in 
Hayti it is the rule. Young people make experiment of 
one another before they will enter into any closer con- 
nexion. So far they are no worse than in our own English 
Islands^ where the custom is equally general, [Froude's ** His- 
tory of English in West Indies," p. 344.] 



Illegitimacy in Scotland. 
In Scotland, incontinency subjects the offending parties 
to ecclesiastical measures. The ministers and elders of a 
parish call before them the mothers and the putative fathers 
(when discovered) of all illegitimate children, admonish 
them seriously for their conduct, and exclude them from par- 
ticipation in the ordinance of bread and wine until they have 
expressed contrition for their offence. [Rep. of Poor Law 

Commissioners to Sir G. Grahame, 1844.] 



In a paper read by Dr. Stark, upon the Vital Statistics of 
Scotland, the writer gave the result of an inquiry into 
Illegitimacy in certain parishes of that country. "In seventy- 
nine parishes there were among the members of the Estab- 
lished Church 4,305 births, and of these 328 were illegiti- 
mate ! " [" Journal of the Statistical Society," Vol. 14.] 

Note. — That is a rate of 78 per 1000, higher than that of France or 

Italy. ' 



i 



APPENDIX. 141 



Peasant Morality in Denmark. 

With regard to the peasant population of the rural districts 
... it was found that of a hundred first-bom children no 
less than thirty-nine were born under seven months after 
marriage, to which must be added nine (9) per cent, born 
between seven and nine months after marriage. A great 
number of the brides who were not pregnant at marriage 
had already had illegitimate children with the bridegroom 
or others ; so that it may probably be assumed that tn two- 
thirds of the marriages (childless marriages excepted) the 
bride had had children while unmarried^ or was pregnant at 

the marriage. [** Westergaard on Marriage Statistics of Denmark," 
Copenhagen. Translation furnished to Seventh Interna- 
tional Congress of Hygiene and Demography. ] 



Child Murder. 

An inquest was held before Mr. Braxton Hicks, at the 
Star and Garter, Battersea, concerning the death of a female 
child whose body was found in the Thames. Dr. Kempster 
stated that he saw the body at the mortuary, and had made 
a post mortem examination. The bones of the skull had 
been fractured all over, and the nose was flattened on the 
face. The injuries were inflicted while the child was alive^ 
and they were the cause of death. The Coroner : ** I think 
we have had about ten similar cases, have we not ? " Dr. 
Kempster : " Yes \ all killed in the same wayj^ The 
Coroner : " In these cases as soon as a child is born its 
head is knocked all to pieces, and the body then thrown 
into the river.'* The jury returned a verdict of " Wilful 
murder against some person or persons unknown." [London 

TimeSf February $, 1891 J 

Distressing Suicide. — A well-dressed young woman 
was found lying on a seat at Rugby Station, Tuesday night. 



1 



142 APPENDIX, 



She had evidently taken some carbolic acid from a bottle 
which was by her side. Death ensued in half an hour. A 
number of letters were found in her possession, some signed 
" Your loving husband, Jack — 



n 



Dr. Wynter held an inquest on the body of the young 
woman who committed suicide at Rugby Station. A young 
man named Allen, employed as a cook at Oxford, stated 
that last summer the deceased and himself were living at 
Douglas, Isle of Man. In September they left Douglas, and 
for over a fortnight they lived together as husband and wife at 
the deqeased^s parent^, the girVs relatives thinking they were 
married. Dr. Simpson expressed the opinion that the 
deceased was eticeinte. The jury returned a verdict of 
" Suicide while temporarily insane." The Coroner, address- 
ing Allen, said that though he was not legally responsible 
for her death, he was morally responsible. He lived with 
her in a barefaced manner as her husband, and then de- 
serted her, and in her distracted condition she took her 

life. [Oxford Chronicle^ January 31st, 1891.] 

Note. — In the State of New York, by thus living **with her in a 
barefaced manner as her husband/' and acknowledging that relation to 
her parents, this man would have become her legal husband without 
further ceremony. 



Cruel Treatment of a Child. — At the Denbighshire 
Assizes yesterday, before Justice Lawrence, Catherine 
Roberts, aged 30 years, a charwoman, of Abergele, was 
charged with murdering her illegitimate female child, aged 
seven years. The medical evidence went to show that the 
child had been subjected to a long treatment of ill-usage, 
there being no less than 86 bruises on her body. Wit- 
nesses were called, and deposed to seeing the accused throw 
the deceased over a stile, whilst on another occasion it was 
alleged she beat the girl with a stick. When examined, 



APPENDIX. 143 



there was not the slightest trace of food in the stomach of 
the deceased. — The jury found the prisoner "Guilty of 
manslaughter," and she was sentenced to twenty years' 
imprisonment. ]^Daily News, July 23rd, 1891.] 



At Stratford Petty Sessions, Annie Smith, 21, a respect- 
ably-dressed person, described as a servant of Quarry 
Cottage, Coursley Wood, Wadhurst, Sussex, was charged 
with attempting to drown her child, Charles Smith, aged 
one month, by throwing it into a ditch on Wanstead Flats. 
Joseph Wood, of 28, Francis Street, Stratford, the manager 
of a working-men's home, said that at about a quarter to 6 
o'clock on Thursday evening he was going towards Forest- 
gate across Wanstead Flats, when he saw the prisoner 
coming along the road. She had a baby in her arms. She 
passed him, and when he had gone a little way, he turned 
round and looked back. He then saw the prisoner go 
down a bank. She still had the baby in her arms. She 
took a cloak off the baby and put it (the cloak) on the 
grass, and then she disappeared from his sight. Soon 
afterwards she came up the bank again and went across the 
road. Then she ran towards Epping Forest. He ran after 
her, and when he got up to her, he asked her what she had 
done with the child. She said, " I have thrown it into the 
ditch." He said, " You had better come back with me 
while I get the child out," and she walked back with him 
until they came to the spot where she had disappeared. 
He then saw the child, and at once went across the ditch 
and got it out of the water. He thought there were 
between three and four feet of water in the ditch. The 
child was lying in the water, floating, with its hands up. 
He got hold of one of its hands to pull it out Then he 
patted it on the back to get the water out of it. Giving it 



144 APPENDIX, 



to the prisoner, he ^ook her to the Leyton. Police-station, 
and there she was charged. Prisoner was remanded. 

\The Tinus, February 14th, 1891.] 



Yesterday, at Northampton, before Mr. Justice Vaughan 
Williams, Emily Scott, aged 20, a domestic servant, was 
charged with the murder of her infant child. Mr. Sills and 
Mr. Perceval Keep, instructed by the Solicitor to the 
Treasury, appeared for the prosecution ; and the prisoner 
was defended by Mr. Toller. It appeared that on the 8th 
of June last the prisoner, who had for two years been in the 
service of Mrs. Bird, at Welford, had done a hard day's 
work, but in the evening she complained of feeling ill, and 
went to bed early. Shortly afterwards her mistress went 
up to her room and found her very ill. A doctor was sent 
for, and he discovered in a cupboard the body of a fully 
grown female child, which had been newly born. The 
body was wrapped in an apron, the strings of which were 
drawn round the neck of the child, and a handkerchief was 
stuffed into its mouth. It was placed just inside the cup- 
board, which was closed, but not locked. The medical 
evidence showed that, although in the opinion of the doctor 
the death of the child had been caused by the handkerchief 
and apron strings, it was impossible for him to say whether 
it had had a separate existence or not. Upon this evidence 
the charge of murder was abandoned by the prosecution, 
and the case was left to the jury on the question of conceal- 
ment of birth. The jury found the prisoner Not Guilty, 

and she was discharged ! \The Times, July 2nd, 1S91.] 

*i 

Ancestry of President Lincoln. 
On the subject of his ancestry and origin I only remem- 
ber one time when Mr. Lincoln ever referred to it. It was 
about 1850, when he and I were driving in his one-horse 



APPENDIX, 145 



buggy to the cour^in Menard county, Illinois. The suit we 
were going to try was onfe in which we were likely, either 
directly or collaterally, to touch upon the subject of heredi- 
tary traits. During the ride he spoke, for the first time in 
my hearing, of his mother, dwelling on her characteristics, 
and mentioning or enumerating what qualities he inherited 
from her. He said, among other things, that she was the 
illegkimaie daughter of Lucy Hanks and a well-bred Virginia 
farmer or planter ; and he argued that from this last source 
came his power of analysis, his logic, his mental activity, • 
his ambition, and all the qualities that distinguished him ^ 
from the other members and descendants of the Hanks 
family. His theory in discussing the matter of hereditary 
traits had been that, for certain reasons, illegitimate children 
are oftentimes sturdier and brighter than those born in law- 
ful wedlock ; and in his case, he believed that his better 
nature and finer qualities came from this broad-minded, 
unknown Virginian. 

During and after the Presidential campaign of i860, 
Lincoln repeatedly refused to furnish any details regarding 
his progenitors. [" Herndon's Life of Abraham Lincoln.*'] 



APPENDIX II. 



On the Value of Statistics. 

"It is hardly possible to overrate the value of figures, 
partly by checking that universal tendency to exaggeration 
— not wilful, but a kind of mental illusion — which operates 
wherever we are deeply interested ; partly as giving definite- 
ness and precision to ideas which otherwise would remain 
floating in our minds in a vague, and therefore compara- 
tively useless, form. 

" When you find uniformity, or something which closely 
approximates to uniformity, it is impossible not to be im- 
pressed with the permanence and steadiness of the laws 

which regulate our existence/* [Lord' Derby, before the British 

Association.] 



u6 



Illegitimacy in Europe. 

Of each looo Births (still-births excluded) during years men- 
tioned, how many were illegitimate in the following countries ? 



Holland '.'.'.'. 
Switzerland * . . , 

Englund and Wales 

Spain 

luly 

Belgium . . . . 

HungaiT . . . . 

Scotfand . . . , 

Norway. . . . , 

Denmark . . . , 

Saxony 

Austria. . . . . 



.86,. 


.87=. 


iws. 


18M. 


39 


27 


38 


27 






28 


a7 


16 


IS 


It 


^^ 










■58 


W 






W 










04 


7*. 
















87 


87 


7!i 












84 


81 


oS 


««. 


8^ 




BS 


91 


79 


79 


114 






97 




104 


104 






n7 


1,10 


129 


171 




iW 


119 




131 


147 


U7 



IndudinE Still Binhs for iSSj-Sj. 



Note.-' In the above table are grouped together the latest av^lable sta- 
ttslic^ for tlie principal countries of Europe. For purposes of comparison the 
illegitimate birth.tate of twenty years ago is also given, and the reader will 
thus be a.ble to see the differences between the ra.ces of Europe, and to note 
to what extent the present tendency of each nationality is toward increase or 
decrease of its illegitimale births. 






I, 



APPENDIX. 



S.I 






ill 1j^ 






100 5 2 






J 
H 



5llJ|Sl!||.?|3 






n 



\ -11 -.s.^i.E! 



" p ■SI 

ll -2:1 
■s.sl'S^U 



5s5k 



llg-ll ' 



APPENDIX. 






1 

J 
1 

J 

1 


J 


North Wales ... 69 
Westmoreland . . 70 

Norfolk 74 

Cumberland ... 76 
Hereford .... 76 




1 


1 


ijii 




ft 

f 

1 


^ 


SI 


s 


 


HuniLuedon ... 49 
Berkshire .... 49 
Worcester .... 50 
Rutland .... 51 
West Ririing (York). 51 






11 




1 
1 

I 
1- 


1 


3 

1 


ii 
F 


!S 


1 


] 


■!■- 

Itlll 


t 

1 









APPENDIX. 



Illegitihatb Bikths in Cities of England. 



— 








Total 




»7™ 


Total 


llltEi- 


lo"T^ 














Birtht 




""" 


Binhs. 


1879 


I3I.S4' 


S.115 


39 


9,514 


377 


39 


7.555 


341 


46 




133.310 


X& 




9.240 






7,307 






iSSi 


■3^.904 




9,081 


40s 




6.944 


155 




i88i 


133.309 


S.217 


39 


9.049 


W 






Ml 




1883 


134.503 


5. 171 


89 




■W2 






1(1 






i35>Si 


S.137 


38 


8,911 






6.499 


377 






132.952 


5.314 


40 


8,459 


Mt 




6.0S4 












38 


8.644 


179 




T^ 




61 


1S8T 






40 


8,198 




M 




66 






4.'X'4 




7,639 


404 




MW 






iHHo 


132,133 


5,031 




8,o»9 


164 




1«» 


30s 
























1891 
189Z 





















Illegitimacy in London. 

Of each thousand births in the following districts and sub- 
districts, how many were illegitimate ? 





.875. 1SS3. 


■884. 


188J. 


..» 


.887- 


.„ 


.889. 


.B90. 


Whitechapct . . 
Mmlebone. . . 
Sub- (KictBry . 
districts \a. Mary. 
All London . . 


115 146 
316 313 
276 370 
38 39 


239 
399 

38 


BS7 
414 
40 


lis 

330 
410 

38 


36 
178 
240 
413 

40 


197 
383 

38 


375 
394 

38 


27 

lea 

347 
40« 

38 



NCTB. — It will be seen from this table that in one pait of London (5L 
Maiy, Maiylebone) the rate of illegitimacy is annually over one-third of oB the 
births. The contrast Iwlween Wlutechapel and Marylebone is noteworthy. 



APPENDIX, 



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152 



APPENDIX. 



Illegitimacy in Principal Cities of Scotland. 
[From Registrar Generars Reports.] 

Number of Illegitimate Births in proportion : 





 


ro zooo Total Birth& 




Toiooc 


> Unmarried Women between 














15 -45- 






Aber. 
deen. 


Dundee. 


Edin- 
burgh. 


Glas- 
gow. - 


Aber- 
deen. 


Dundee. 


Edin- 
burgh. 


Glas- 
gow. 


I873-I882 


















(10 yrs.) 


112 


107 


82 


82 


— 


— 




— 


1883 


98 


108 


88 


81 


23 


21 


15 


24 


1884 


103 


ICX> 


79 


79 


24 


21 


14 


24 


1885 . 


109 


1 10 


90 


82 


26 


21 


16 


24 


1886 


114 


lOI 


83 


78 


28 


19 


14 


23 


1887 


106 


104 


85 


83 


24 


18 


15 


23 



Illegitimacy and Age of Mothers. 

Of total illegitimate births in England and Wales during the 
year 1902, how many were the first-born children of mothers at 
each age, and of either social condition ? 





Single Wonien. 


Widows and Divorced* 


Total Births 

at each 
A^ Period. 


Age-periods of 
Mothers. 


First Child. 


Other than 
First Child. 


First Child 
(Illegitimate). 


Other than 

First Child 

(lUegitimaie). 


15-19 . . 
20-24 . . 

25-29 . . 
30-34 . • 
35-50 . • 












Total . . 













Note. — This is inei*ely a suggestion for a statistical table which should 
indicate the relation between illegitimate births and the ages of the mothers. 
No facts of this kind are at present anywhere to be obtained. 



APPENDIX. 



'53 



Illegitimacy in certain Counties of Ireland, during Ten 

Years, i879-»888. 

[Compiled from Reports of the Registrar-General] 





Total No. all 

Births (1879- 

1888). Ten 

Years. 


Total Unmarried 

Females (15-45) 

at Census ot 

x88z. 


No. of 
Illegitimate 

Births 
(Ten Years.) 


Rate of Illegiti- 
macy. 


County. 


To 1000 

Total 

Births. 


To each 

xo,ooo 

Unmarried 

Women 

(15-45). 


Mayo, Connaught 
Sligo, „ 
Galway, „ 

Donegal, Ulster 
Tyrone, ,, 
Londonderry, ,, 
Down, ,, 
Antrim, „ 

Kerry, Mnnster 
Clare „ 
Limerick ,, 


57,141 
20,249 

53,215 ' 

42,887 
40,170 
39,164 
60,346 
122,585 

48,624 
29,749 
42,300 


29,069 
11,649 

27,655 

28.503 
32,002 
27,259 
34,330 
69,593 

21,721 

15,851 
25,501 


322 
163 

556 

670 
1,666 
1,790 
3,084 
6,583 

691 

443 
1,148 


10 

16 

41 
46 

51 
52 

14 

15 
27 


117 

14 
20 

23 5 

52 
66 

94-6 

32 
28 

45 


All Ireland 


1,200,782 


731,767 


31,856 


26-5 


43 '5 



»S4 



APPENDIX. 



England Wales. Coroners' Inquests on Infants i year 

OLD and under* 





Legitimate. 


Illegitimate. 




Boys. 


GirU. 


Both. 


Boys. 


Girls. 


Both. 


I88I 
1882 
1883 
1884 
1885 
1886 
1887 


2,171 
2,222 

2,354 

2,359 

2.323 
• 2,482 

2,561 


1,887 

1,943 
2,029 

1,969 
1,962 
2,009 
2,224 


4.058 
4.165 

4383 
4.328 

4.285 
4.491 
4.785 


545 
482 

498 
560 

583 
541 

555 


481 
428 

449 
481 

438 

534 
488 


1,026 
910 

947 
1,041 

1,021 

1,075 
1,043 


Total Inquests 7 years 

No. of Inquests to each 

1000 born of either 

class 


16,472 


14.023 


30.495 
6 


3,764 


3,299 


7,063 
24 



APPENDIX, 



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156 



APPENDIX. 



Seasons and Conduct. 
Suicide in Algeria and Japan. 



Seasons. 


Suicides in 

Algeria, 

X879-1882.1 


Suicides in 

Japan, 
1882-J888.S 




Number. 


Per Cent. 


Number. 


Per Cent 


March, April, May 

June, July, August 

September, October, November . 
December, January, February 


151 

151 
92 

lOI 


30'5 

305 
19- 

20- 


11.677 

12,188 

9,070 

8.253 


284 
296 
22 
20 


Total 


495 


100*0 


41,188 


100*0 



* See Kocher*s " La Criminality chez les Arabes." 

^ See *' Kesum^ Statistique de TEmpire du Japon," for 1891. 



Seasons and Conduct. 

Number of Attempts at Suicide in England and Wales, 

1878-1887. 

[Compiled from Judicial Reports.] 



Year. 


January 
to March. 


April to 
June. 


July to 
September. 


October to 
December. 


Total. 


1878 


181 


272 


307 


191 


951 


1879 


202 


268 


334 


196 


1,000 


1880 


181 


281 


308 


219 


989 


1881 


167 


283 


333 


202 


984 


1882 


220 


315 


330 


262 


1,127 


1883 


217 


323 


296 


232 


1,068 


1884 


247 


327 


387 


207 


1,168 


1885 


232 


33 J 


S66 


220 


i>i5o 


1886 


188 


318 


357 


220 


1*083 


1887 


234 


375 


375 


229 


1,213 


Ten Years . 


2,069 


3,094 


3.392 


2,178 


10,733 


Percentage . 


I9'3 


28-8 


31-6 


203 


100 '0 



APPENDIX, 



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158 



APPENDIX, 



Seasons and Conduct. 

Number of Murders (of persons over one year), Attempts 
AT Murder and Cases of Manslaughter, England and Wales, 
during each quarter of the year. 

[Compiled from Judicial Reports.] 



Year. 


Januarrto 
March. 


April to June. 


July to 
September. 


October to 
Decemjser. 


TotaL 


1878 


92 


101 


114 


100 


407 


1879 


71 


93 


107 


95 


366 


1880 


84 


92 


114 


104 


394 


1881 


73 


98 


121 


90 


382 


1882 


92 


107 


110 


99 


408 


1883 


76 


102 


95 


93 


366 


1884 


106 


84 


122 


91 


403 


1885 


91 


109 


117 


106 


423 


1886 


88 


107 


129 


79 


403 


1887 


90 


102 


104 


100 


396 


Ten Years. 


863 


995 


1,133 


957 


3,948 



Seasons and Conduct. 

All Crimes against Persons (not involving Crimes against 
property), England and Wales. 

[Compiled from Judicial Reports.] 



Year. 


January to 
March. 


April to June. 


July to 
September. 


October to 
December. 


Total. 


1878 

1879 
1880 
1881 

1882 
1883 
1884 
1885 
1886 
1887 


656 

528 
641 
582 

717 
617 
682 
630 

712 
706 


782 
675 
736 
722 
870 
704 
839 
755 
976 
894 


781 
743 
759 
842 
918 
793 
939 
956 
1090 
989 


633 
719 

733 
732 
695 
705 

742 
848 
881 
812 


2,852 
2,665 
2,869 
2,878 
3,200 
2,819 
3,192 
3,189 
3,659 
3,401 


Ten Years. 


6,471 


7,953 


8,810 


7,490 


30,724 



APPENDIX. 



159 



Seasons and Conduct. 

Number of Crimes against Chastity (Assaults, Rape^ etc), 
England and Wales, 1878-1887. 

[Compiled from Table V. Judicial Reports.] 



Year. 


January to 
March. 


April to June. 


July to 
September. 


October to 
December. 


Total 


1878 


127 


168 


167 


105 


567 


1879 


99 


148 


174 


126 


542 


1880 


140 


181 


183 


123 


626 


1881 


106 


168 


810 


144 


628 


1882 


139 


806 


354 


lOI 


700 


1883 


141 


179 


313 


133 


665 


1884 


143 


848 


356 


156 


803 


1885 


133 


219 


367 


234 


853 


1886 


234 


868 


443 


271 


1.315 


1887 


215 


845 


879 


259 


1,198 


Ten Years. 


1,477 


8,385 


3,543 


1,652 


7,897 



i6o 



APPENDIX, 



Crimes against Chastity (Assaults, etc.) in France. 

Aiianged by Season. * 
Number of Crimes committed. 



* i 



Y«r. 


February to 
April. 


May to July. 


August to 
Ooober. 


NoTcmber to 


Total. 


i860 
1861 
. 1862 
1863 
1864 
1865 
1866 
1867 
1868 
1869 


252 
160 

194 
174 
211 
201 
227 
201 
187 
211 


283 

338 

352 

337 

394 ' 

439 

427 

815 

308 

311 


268 

258 

236 

290 

287 • 

341 

311 

234 

224 

237 


146 
124 

^71 

156 

172 

196 

191 

172 

132 
• 177 


949 
880 

955 

957 

1,064 

^^"^77 

1,156 

922 

&51 
936 


Ten Years. 


2,018 


3,504 


2,686 


1,639 


9,847 



 From Dr. Tardieu's " £tude M^ico-l^le sur les Attentats sur Moeurs." 1 
On this sabj«|pt see also articles by VHUrmcy in " Annales d' Hygiene, 1851,'* 'I 
and Bernard in " ArchiYes de T Anthrop. Criminelle " for 1886 and 1887. 



i(4 



i 



I 

f